Travis Head waited years to open for Australia, wants to make the most of it

Australian batsman Travis Head plays a shot during the ODI World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand at the HPCA ground in Dharamshala on October 28, 2023.

Australian batsman Travis Head plays a shot during the ODI World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand at the HPCA ground in Dharamshala on October 28, 2023.
| Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Travis Head has had to wait for years for an opportunity to open for Australia, and now that the chance has arrived he intends to make the most of it, the batsman said after Saturday’s five-run win over New Zealand at Dharamsala.

Head, who started opening six years after his 2016 One Day International (ODI) debut, set the tone for the highest-scoring match in World Cup history by hitting 109 off 67 balls in his first match back since fracturing a finger in September.

His 175-run opening partnership with David Warner (81) was the highlight of Australia’s 388-run innings.

“I think that’s been a spot that I guess waited for, obviously, with (former captain Aaron Finch) playing for such a long period and their partnership being so good,” Travis told reporters after winning the Player-of-the-Match award.

Finch and Warner were a longstanding opening duo for Australia in limited-over cricket, and played a major role in the team’s 2015 World Cup win.

Head made his ODI comeback in February 2022 after a three-year absence, scoring a century against Pakistan as an opener. Later that year, he replaced Finch as an opener as the latter retired from international cricket.

“The limited chance I had I was able to take and sort of waited a couple of years for that spot to open up,” Head said. “So, that’s never guaranteed and I’ve got to perform and I’m lucky enough to be able to put a string of a few performances together that hopefully make that a spot where Dave and I have obviously got a great partnership.”

Marsh, who replaced an injured Head as an opener, scored 150 in Australia’s first four World Cup matches.

Australia have won four in a row after losing to India and South Africa, rising to fourth in the table with eight points as they head to Ahmedabad to face defending champions England on November 4.

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