Five Revivals: Head Eyed Middle-Order Returns in Britain

‘Still looks like a very good wicket’: Head says Aussies are getting big

Opener experiment Travis Head Test will be absent for some time, according to the man himself, who is hoping for a return to No. 5 for Australia’s forthcoming England campaign.

David Warner’s early departure from the tour of India has allowed Head to take on new ball after the South Australian initially came as a shock to the series opener due to his perceived deficiencies against spin.

But he showed promising signs of improvement on turning surfaces in Indore and Delhi with scores of 43, 9 and 49 no, the final knock came after he and Marnus Labuschagne withstood the immense pressure in an initially nervous chase.

Head failed to capitalize on KS Bharat shaking an easy catch off a ledge on day one in Ahmedabad and playing a series of blinding shots to run to 32 before putting Ravichandran Ashwin in the middle.

Head rides hard on day one in Ahmedabad // Getty

While he’ll return to the new ball in upcoming ODIs against India from next week, the left-hander knows his time at the top in Tests isn’t a long-term prospect.

“I think I only have an inning left to make it,” Head said before Friday’s game.

“I did it one-day cricket, I’ll do it the next three one-days while we’re here.

“Having done that in the past, it doesn’t bother me — it’s just a long day if you throw it away early on the first morning.”

Head has dominated the No.

Australia will play either India or Sri Lanka in the World Test Championship final at The Oval in early June before there are five Ashes Tests against England.

A question mark over Warner’s return means Australia could be looking for an opening partner for Usman Khawaja in these games.

While trainer Andrew McDonald has suggested Head could reopen in the subcontinent, this India campaign is the latest of three tours of Asia in 12 months and Australia is unlikely to return for some time.

“Disappointed” Head responded well to Axes: Carey

“Opening batting in Asia is a position he will enjoy over time,” McDonald said after the Indore Test. “He looks at the top of the order at home, those kind of players when they go out there 0-0 can dictate the course of the game… but I also see him as an incredible mid-order player. He can shift the dynamics of the game to the middle order and I don’t think we want to take that away from this team.

“I think he can, under different conditions, support the work of others at the head of the Order.”

Head said his discussions with selectors suggested he was likely to go back down to five after this tour.

“From what I’ve read … and from what Ron[McDonald]has told me, they’re pretty keen on me getting back into middle class,” the 29-year-old said.

“I’ve only done it once before for Worcester (Shire, in British County Cricket). I think that would suggest it’s probably not a thing for the future.

“I said I’d bat wherever I could for Australia. But if I had the opportunity (to vote), I would hit at five.” Five Revivals: Head Eyed Middle-Order Returns in Britain

Russell Falcon

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