Australian top-order batsman Travis Head feels he has become a more relaxed player, and has thus been able to string together consistent performances in first-class cricket.
Head was one of five uncapped faces named in the Australia Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. His chances of selection were boosted by his sublime 87 in the second innings of a four-day game against India A in Bengaluru recently. It set up the win for Australia A – the side he was leading.
But Head feels consistent performances over the last few seasons of the Sheffield Shield have played as big a role in securing him a chance in the Test team. In the 2017-18 season, he was one of the Shield's best batsmen, scoring 738 runs from eight matches at 46.12, while in 2016-17 he had amassed 645 runs from nine games at 43.
"Over the last three or four years in Shield cricket I’ve been able to put a few consistent seasons together on the board which is nice," Head was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Friday, 14 September.
"I think over the process of a few years I have come a bit more relaxed and especially over the last six months I have worked extremely hard on my game and the technical side of my game. I have spoken about my forward defence and that comes with more maturity. I just got a bit older and a bit (more) relaxed, so I am ready to go."
But batting is not the only department Head wants to contribute in; he's been working hard on his bowling and although he's not had the desired results yet, he'd like to be given the chance.
"It's something that I have worked hard on, although I didn’t get the results in India (with Australia A) that I would have liked,” Head said about his off-spin bowling. "I don't think it really reflected how well I was bowling at training, so hopefully I get a bit of an opportunity."
The 24-year-old has already had experience captaining his domestic side, and more recently took over the mantle of the Australia A limited overs side, but he isn't too concerned about trying to secure the vice-captain's role in the Test team.
"There is a lot of talk about that (vice-captain) role, but (I hope) I can help the team in any way, whether that be with leadership or with my batting, bowling, fielding, training, standards or values," he said.
"Everyone in that team is a leader. It is a great bunch of individuals and a great bunch of guys that work extremely hard at their craft and what they do. It's not going to take just "Painey" (captain Tim Paine) and just "JL" (coach Justin Langer).
"It's going to take a collective group over the series and over a period of time to get to where we want to get to."
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