AUSTRALIA V PAKISTAN IN UAE, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
“If we can continue to do what we’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks, there’s no reason why we can’t do that in the two Test matches. © Getty
Travis Head is just a few days away from realizing his most-cherished dream – to don a baggy green cap. He also, of course would love to get some runs in the vibrance of whites after finally getting his chance. In the lead-up to the two-Test series against Pakistan, the 24-year-old is oozing with positivity.
“I know I’ll walk out on Sunday if I play and perform and win a game of cricket for Australia,” Head said on Thursday (October 4). “That’s my priority, that’s what I’m thinking about and I know all the batters are thinking that way,” he said.
It will be a start of a new era for Australia as Justin Langer takes charge for the first time in Test cricket post the forgetful tour of South Africa earlier this year, which saw three players banned and the stepping down of then coach Darren Lehmann. It will also be a new era in terms of the leadership group as well, with Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood named joint deputies to Tim Paine in the longest format. While Mitchell Marsh scored a brilliant 162 in the practice game, Head compiled an undefeated 90 against Pakistan ‘A’ last week. The South Australian batsman batted at five is likely to hold onto that spot should he make his debut.
“If we can continue to do what we’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks here with that middle order group, and especially the way we played in the tour match, there’s no reason why we can’t do that in the two Test matches in the next couple of weeks and really put a stamp on it,” he said.
Matthew Renshaw, who copped a blow on his head during the practice game, was forced out of that contest, but resumed batting in nets yesterday. His participation in the first Test looks unlikely with Langer leaving the decision to the selectors citing ‘enough match practice’ as a criteria to feature in the series opener. Marnus Labuscagne, who had replaced Renshaw in the four-day game, spent a prolonged one-on-one session in the nets at the ICC Academy with the head coach on Thursday, and could be Renshaw’s replacement.
Discerning the emotions of those who may have missed out on selections for the Test squad, Head said, “It’s always tough for spots and those guys are unlucky to miss out and have been in really good form but in the tour match we were [494-4]. Guys are in form, it’s always tough to get in the Australian cricket team and the fight for spots is always up,” he added.
The first of the two-match Test series will be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday (October 7), before the teams move to Abu Dhabi for the second.