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Monday, June 24, 2024

Travis Head reflects on Player of Match honour


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London: Australia batter Travis Head has been adjudged the Player of the Match in the ICC World Test Championship Final against India.

Head managed scores of 163 and 18 during the one-off Test, beating out strong performances from Steve Smith and Alex Carey to win the coveted award as Australia clinched a clinical 209-run victory.

The middle-order gun came to the crease with Australia in a spot of bother at 76/3 on the opening day at The Oval, before combining with Smith (121) for a 285-run stand that swung the momentum the way of his side.

The left-hander was at his attacking best, savage on anything overpitched and just as willing to swing hard at anything dug in short.

While India changed their approach when bowling to the dynamic No.5 in Australia second innings, Head’s knock on the opening day of an enthralling contest in south London proved pivotal in the outcome of the match.

Head said his performance against India was great reward for all the hard work both he and his teammates had put in during the World Test Championship period.

“It’s amazing. You come here for a week, you do the prep (preparation) and it is hard to imagine, but a lot of hard work has gone into it over the two years,” Head said post-match.

“It has been my approach for the two years (to attack). I said during the week that if balls were presented for me to score off I wanted to be proactive and score off them and when they bowled in nice areas to be good enough to stay out there for long periods of time,” he said.

“I was tested throughout the whole innings I had a plan and knew what they were going to do and it was nice to be out there for a period and bat with Smudge (Smith). It has been amazing week,” Head said.

The last few months haven’t been so rosy for Head, who was left out of Australia’s side for the pivotal opening Test against India in February when their place in the World Test Championship Final wasn’t quite assured.

But Head won a recall for the second Test in Delhi and, a couple of excellent performances later in India and a dominant individual effort at The Oval, sees the 29-year-old look back to his best.

“I have always had the confidence and it has just been a matter of going out there and expressing it,” Head added.

“It took me some time and everyone goes through that period, first-class cricket to Test cricket and what needs to change I have always been open for change and open for learning and always been committed to doing things differently,” he said.

“I try and be as consistent as I can and I am glad it came off in such a big game,” Head added.

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