In-form Travis Head needs to go all the way in Tests
A return to the county for which he featured in last year's Championship saw Australia Test vice-captain, Travis Head, bringing up a sparkling century in the tour game. Brimming with confidence after playing a couple of gritty innings in Australia's domineering triumph in the first Ashes Test, Head continued his good form with yet another hundred, his third since setting foot on English soil at the start of this summer. Head hit 109 in the first innings of the drawn match.
The picturesque arena of Worcester has been a happy hunting ground for Head. He featured in five Championship matches and four one-day tournament games for the county before he was called upon to take the reins of Australia A for a tour to India, back in 2018. His experiences in English county would have proven to be a vital cog in developing his endurance and temperament in these testing, non-Australian conditions.
So far, the national team's vice-captain would have been pleased with his returns but with the potential he boasts, Head should be emphasizing on converting his steady starts to match-defining hundreds. In a way, he needs to emulate Steve Smith whose extraordinary performances at Edgbaston helped Australia to a resounding win
Despite starting cautiously and scoring runs at a steady rate in both innings, Head would have been disappointed with the manner in which he got out in the Test. It was almost as if he got bogged down when he should have been peaking in his innings and played himself into the hands of the English bowling attack.
"I'm happy with the way I started and obviously disappointed not to go on with it in the first and second innings," said Head before the three-day tour match against Worcestershire. "... All I was concentrating on, walking out there on day one (with Australia 3-35) was being able to build a partnership ..."
Australian middle-order woes are far from over but Matthew Wade's whirlwind ton at Edgbaston and Travis Head coming to the party with his third ton of the season in the tour-game shows that they are headed on the right track.
Lord's, with its treacherous slope and more sideways movement, will present an altogether different challenge to the Aussies. Runs are nothing less than a currency for a batsman and if they keep piling up runs, there is a high probability that Australia can outsmart the hosts in the Home of Cricket, too.