World Test Championship

Mature Head at ease with life after scintillating century

World Test Championship

By Jonathan Healy at The Oval

Hit For Six!

Australia batter Travis Head has already had plenty to celebrate in 2023 and his year got even better on the opening day of the ICC World Test Championship Final in London when he scored a brilliant century to put his side in a dominant position.

Video World Test Championship 07 Jun 23
Day 1 Highlights: Head, Smith too good for India on opening day | WTC23 Final
Highlights: Travis Head and Steven Smith helped Australia fight back after early wickets to post a daunting 327/3 against India on day one of the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final.

Head married long-time partner Jessica in April this year and the pair had been honeymooning around Europe in the lead-up to the one-off World Test Championship Final at The Oval that the left-hander put his stamp on with a tremendous individual knock on Wednesday.

The dynamic No.5 came to the crease with the game evenly poised at 76/3, before unleashing a brilliant display of attacking batting that helped him compile an unbeaten knock of 146* that put Australia in firm control at 327/3 at stumps.

Video World Test Championship 07 Jun 23
Highlights: Travis Head deflates India with brilliant century | WTC23 Final
The highlights of Travis Head's brilliant century on day one of the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final between Australia and India

It was Head's sixth century overall and his first outside of Australia and the 29-year-old revealed he was now more settled off the field and this had helped translate to his excellent recent run of form.

"I'm in a nice little period of my life I guess as well off field," Head said after play.

"They are just all merging into clarity and consistency and that's what we've asked for as a team and it's a very enjoyable team to play for. 

"Obviously, I like to enjoy myself. We all know the right moments to do that and the right moments to knuckle down."

Video World Test Championship 07 Jun 23
Ricky Ponting lavishes praise on WTC23 Final centurion Travis Head | Byjus

Head hit 22 fours during his innings and even cleared the boundary with a cheeky little late cut over the slips, combining with veteran batter Steve Smith (95*) for an unbroken stand of 251 that swung the momentum of the game towards his side after India's pacers made a bright start.

Head said discussions between overs between himself and Smith were often very short, but he revealed that he does enjoy batting alongside the former Australia captain.

"Yeah, we don't talk too much," Head said.

"I've always said that I do really enjoy batting with Steve because of how much attention he receives. 

"He is one of the best players in the world, one of our best, probably our best player. 

Head returns to the pavilion after the completion of play // Getty Images
Head returns to the pavilion after the completion of play // Getty Images

"He's our best batter and unbelievable in these conditions and he receives so much attention from the opposition in terms of plans and how difficult it is to bowl to. 

"I’ve always felt like and I've always said going out to bat with him it feels like you're in the shadow of that and you can sort of sneak under the radar and go about your business because he's drawn so much attention and it felt like that again today, it felt like he wasn't going to go anywhere. 

“He was at the other end and sort of got in that rhythm and just went about business. 

"A lot of balls that he may play or play out is a lot different to me so I think we complement each other completely differently but in the partnership it works really nicely."

Video World Test Championship 07 Jun 23
Century! Travis Head underlines brilliant knock with milestone | WTC23 Final

It was arguably the finest knock of Head's career to date, but hasn't always been this plain sailing as the South Australian was surprisingly left out of Australia’s side for the first Test against India in February.

While seemingly now secure in Australia's Test XI after a strong finish to that Border-Gavaskar series and a scintillating start to the World Test Championship Final, Head is more at ease with his position as he knows just how much depth his team have in their batting department.

"That's all out of my control," Head said. 

"All I can do is try and be as consistent as I can be on the field and off the field and enjoy myself. 

"It's a bloody enjoyable team to play under and play with. Yes I would love to play every single Test match, but that's not always going to be the case. 

"I think that gives you good perspective to moments like this and the lead up and the prep to be as relaxed as you can. 

"Hopefully I don't get dropped too much in the future but it's going to inevitably happen, so it doesn't bother me."


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