Travis Head scored a solid 106 as Australia defeated Middlesex in the second and final practice game, at Lord’s. © Getty
Australia have made an undefeated start to their English campaign by winning both their practice games, against Sussex and Middlesex. The second win that came on Saturday (June 9), at Lord’s, was fashioned by opener Travis Head, who scored a solid 106 to help the tourists with a match-winning total. Riding on the superlative performance, Head now believes he has closed in on gaining a spot in the starting XI against England in the five-match ODI series.
“I enjoyed getting back up the order, getting out there and getting a hit,” Head said after Australia’s 101-run win. “I felt like I’ve been in good form. I haven’t got the runs I would have liked in the early part of the season for Worcester (Worcestershire, the county side Head plays for) but it’s nice to get out here with the boys and perform.
“I feel like I am playing really well, I’ve sort of been close at the start of the summer here, and I am looking forward to the (ODI) series starting.”
Apart from Head, Marcus Stoinis is the other Australian to have scored a hundred on tour. Vice-captain Aaron Finch too has been in good form, scoring two fifties. Although Head would love to bat higher up the order, he candidly asked who wouldn’t in white-ball cricket, with playing conditions tilted in their favour.
“In white-ball cricket, every batter is going to say they will want to bat as high as they can. It’s awesome going out there against the new ball, two fielders out and you get the best of the wicket,” he confessed.
However, Head felt his good form will allow him to fit into any sort of a role and he’d be more than happy to deliver to the demands of the team combination. “I’ve done both (open and bat in middle order). I’m happy to do whatever it takes to keep playing in the Australian cricket team,” the 24-year-old added.
“I feel like I can do a job with either, feel like I’ve done jobs with either. I’m really comfortable with how I’m going. I just need to make sure I’m playing really well and whatever role I get, do it to the best of my ability.”
Head, thus far, has played in 34 ODIs and 10 T20Is, with a hundred and seven fifties to show for in the 50-over format. His solitary hundred though came at the top of the order, where he has batted five times. In the middle order where he’s batted 28 times, his average dips to 32.69, four lesser than his overall numbers. But Head didn’t seem too flustered with batting lower down the order and is banking on his form to come good in the forthcoming series.
“If you are in form and getting runs, hopefully you’ll stay there. We want guys winning games of cricket and we’ve got match-winners throughout the order.”