After scoring two lightning-quick centuries to spectacularly revive his Test career, Travis Head’s Ashes heroics have earned him a well-deserved spot in Australia’s first Test line-up against Pakistan but he expects “brave” selections from the team’s staff during the historic tour.
With just five Tests held in Pakistan since the long format returned in 2019, Australia are at sea about what to expect with the conditions when they arrive there for the first time since 1998. Their preparation is further troubled since they will play no warm-up game ahead of the series opener starting on March 4.
Australia might change their middle-order although Head should be a certain batter there. He was the last player picked for Australia’s first Test team at the Gabba but much ironically, ended the Ashes as player of the series and leading run-scorer on both sides in a series that saw bowlers dominate more than batters. Speaks volumes of the level of performance of Head in that Ashes series.
Head expects ‘team first’ approach, looks up to Smith as inspiration for away series
“We’ve seen that in the Ashes in 2019 that you have to be brave not only how you play but in the way you select the team,” he said. “Everyone in the squad has to understand they are going on that plane to hopefully have an impact on the series.
“We did that in 2019 when we swapped our bowlers around and played Mitch Marsh…I was on the receiving end of that [for the fifth Test] which was disappointing. But at the end of the day you have to pick the best team who will win a Test match or series. It will take the whole squad to do that.”
“I think what defines you as a player, the away series,” Head said. “You look at Smithy’s record in India, when he goes away to India and plays on those wickets it takes him to a different level.
“On the flipside, you can’t chase that, you can’t change yourself, you can’t try and be someone that you’re not. It’s definitely challenging and you definitely get tested and I think that is where you can take your game to a different level.”