Travis Head's purple patch hit a crescendo in the World Test Championship final between Australia and India at The Oval in London. The southpaw struck a belligerent counter-attacking 163 off just 174 deliveries, with his partnership with Steven Smith giving Australia a solid grasp over the contest.
Head's approach didn't come as a surprise at all, considering that this is how he has gone about his game in Tests since the Ashes in 2021-22. Having taken the cavalier route as an opener in ODIs, as well as in the Tests in India earlier this year, he has proven himself to be a versatile and consistent batting option.
While Head wasn't a part of the recently concluded IPL 2023 season, he has played in the league before. He was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) across the 2016 and 2017 seasons but featured in only 10 games.
Head could have perhaps piled on the runs had he been part of the recent IPL season. With that in mind, let's look at three teams who would have benefited from his presence in IPL 2023:
#1 Delhi Capitals
It's quite obvious, isn't it? The Delhi Capitals (DC) looked a clueless lot in IPL 2023, with plenty of chopping and changing defining their campaign. Unsurprisingly, they finished in the lower trenches of the points table with a mere five wins from 14 matches.
One problem that was clear with the Capitals was how top-heavy they were, something that was apparent even immediately after the player auction. Things took a turn for the worse once Rishabh Pant was ruled out and Prithvi Shaw endured a wretched run of form.
Given his ability to bat at the top as well as in the middle order, Head would have fit into the DC lineup like a hand in a glove in IPL 2023. He could have comfortably taken up a role in the middle order while also being called upon to take down pace at the death if required, freeing up the likes of David Warner and Mitchell Marsh to bat with freedom at the top.
#2 SunRisers Hyderabad
For the assortment of match-winners they had in their ranks, the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) had no business finishing with the wooden spoon in IPL 2023. Yet, such was the clutter in their thought process that they just didn't seem to know what their best batting order was.
One thing they clearly lacked throughout the tournament was an additional left-handed batter. Even though Head prefers pace on the ball as opposed to spin, he could have comfortably added that element to the side, either at the top or in the middle order.
Pairing Head with a spin-hitter of Heinrich Klaasen's caliber would have given SRH a lot of flexibility as far as countering matchups was concerned. The South Australian would have certainly solved their major Achilles heel with the bat, and perhaps he could be the answer to their problems ahead of the next season.
#3 Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals (RR) started brilliantly in IPL 2023 before tailing away in appalling fashion, even enduring a wretched game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) that saw them skittled out for a paltry total of 59.
RR narrowly missed out on qualifying for the playoffs, and it was clear that they were too reliant on Yashasvi Jaiswal with the bat as the tournament progressed. Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer all ran out of form at the wrong juncture. Joe Root was given a go towards the latter stages, and Head could have possibly left a big impact had he been part of the side.
Not only would the Aussie have given RR an extra bowling option, but he could have been the left-hander they needed for the middle overs to hold Hetmyer back for the death.
Purely on a form basis, Head could have been the tonic they needed if he was in their squad for IPL 2023. The team might have well finished higher up on the table.
Which team do you think must go for Travis Head for the next IPL season? Have your say in the comments section below!
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