ADELAIDE: He was the invisible man of Adelaide Oval, but Travis Head hopes he will be in the thick of the action during the three-Test series against New Zealand.Head’s performance against...
ADELAIDE: He was the invisible man of Adelaide Oval, but Travis Head hopes he will be in the thick of the action during the three-Test series against New Zealand.
Head’s performance against Pakistan in the day-night Test in Adelaide was so unremarkable it became remarkable. The 25-year-old was not required with the bat or ball, and he did not take a catch in the field.
It meant he became just the 14th player to feature in a winning Test without posting a single stat to his name.
Head was happy the team came away with the win, but left unsatisfied by the fact he was not able to contribute to it in any way. It came after he scored just 24 in his only innings against Pakistan in the first Test.
Head has his sights on making a big impact in the day-night Test against New Zealand, starting on Thursday in Perth. “Not getting a hit was a bit disappointing, I guess, after not getting much of a go in Brisbane,” Head said on Saturday at Adelaide Airport.
“I felt like I was ready to go. The wicket looked outstanding again. It was disappointing not to be able to go out in front of the home crowd and have a hit. I’ll make sure I hang around for another 12 months and get a home Test.”
Head did find the funny side of it at least. “I actually felt I fielded alright — no fumbles,” he said. “So I kept a clean slate and, touch wood, I don’t stuff it up this week.”
Australia are set to take an unchanged XI into the first pink-ball Test at Perth’s Optus Stadium. The Black Caps are hopeful paceman Trent Boult (side strain) and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme (abdominal tear) will be fit to return.
A top of 40 degrees is forecast for the opening two days of the Test, and Head is expecting the drop-in wicket to feature plenty of cracks as the match wears on. In the only other previous Test played at the venue, Australia beat India by 146 runs in a match dominated by the bowlers.
Head has enjoyed three days off since Australia’s 2-0 sweep of the Pakistan series. And despite his lack of time in the middle, Head isn’t worried about being underprepared against New Zealand.
“I guess the luxury of facing our fast bowlers in the nets — there’s probably no better fast bowling group in the world at the moment,” Head said. “I’ll be tested (over the next few days), I’ll make sure I get through that and make sure I prepare well and am ready to go.”
The Black Caps have not won a Test series in Australia since a 2-1 win in 1985. But the Kiwis are riding momentum after beating England 1-0 at home in their recent series.