Monday, September 25, 2023
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Head locks down Aussie ODI opening role

A struggling Travis Head revealed he was ‘touch and go’ for Australia’s ODI against England but managed to play through the discomfort and hit a career-high 152.

The gifted South Australian almost sealed his place as David Warner’s opening partner for next year’s 50+ World Cup with another terrific run.

Head took England’s weary attack to all parts of the MCG to reach their third ODI century on Tuesday, setting up an opening stand of 269 points with Warner.

The 28-year-old revealed he had back spasms before the game.

“It was a touch and go,” Head said of his place in the team.

“It wasn’t ideal, I had back spasms when I hit the ground.

“The rain didn’t help because I had to warm up inside.

“I was lucky that we got here two hours before the game, so everything settled down and calmed down.”

After breaking his third century ODI, Head stayed off the pitch for the entire 364 England chase.

“It was a long day and the preparation wasn’t great. It was a grim couple of hours,” Head said.

Once the illness has passed, Head will be able to reflect more fondly on a day for him and Warner.

The pair, who only reunited at the top of this series’ command after Aaron Finch’s ODI retirement last month, missed 15 races to break their own record for Australia’s highest ODI partnership.

Warner and Head put 284 together as Australia crushed Pakistan at Adelaide Oval in January 2017.

But after that epic peak nearly six years ago, Head’s white ball form plummeted and he missed the 2019 ODI World Cup.

The southpaw wants to ensure he keeps his place for the pinnacle of ODI cricketing in India next October.

“Missing that (the 2019 World Cup) was difficult because I felt like I was fine and things just didn’t go my way.

“I (went) away and played three good years of domestic cricket to get my chance again.

“It started well but you can’t hang your hat on it, (I have to) stay relaxed and calm and support my ability.

“I’ve played enough cricket now to know what the expectations are for Australia. I’m still very proud of what I do, but I’m much more relaxed about things.”

In just 13 innings, Warner and Head have scored 1106 runs in ODI partnerships averaging 85.07.

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