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“He needs to learn how to play the turning ball”: Allan Border urges Travis Head to learn from Matthew Hayden to be successful in India next year

Rishikesh Sharma
|Mon Jul 25 2022


Former Aussie great Allan Border has asked Travis Head to take inspiration from Matthew Hayden for the Indian test series in 2023.

The Ashes 2021-22 was a career-defining innings for Australian batter Travis Head. There was a battle between Head and Usman Khawaja for a place in the eleven, and Australia chose Head as their priority. He did not disappoint, and he won the player of the series award at the end.

Head was the highest run-scorer of the series with 357 runs at 59.50, courtesy of 2 centuries and 1 half-century. However, he could not impress on the Pakistan and Sri Lankan tours, and with the Indian test series early next year, there are some eyes on Head’s performance in the subcontinent conditions.

Allan Border suggests Travis Head to learn from Matthew Hayden

Australian legend Allan Border has suggested Travis Head to improve his game against spin. He has advised Head to learn the sweep shot as it is one of the most important shots to counter spin in the subcontinent conditions. Border insists that Head has the ability to play any kind of bowling, apart from turning deliveries.

“He’s got to learn how to sweep, and sweep well. And he’s got to use his feet – people don’t seem to be prepared to go down the track, and defend even,” Allan Border said.

“There’s just a few subtle little things. He’s a very good player against anything other than the turning ball.”

“We’re going to go to the subcontinent a lot so if he wants to be in the frame, he needs to learn how to play the turning ball.”

Border has advised Head to take some inspiration from Matthew Hayden who had an excellent Indian tour in 2001. He said that Hayden played his entire life on the bouncing tracks of Brisbane, but he still he used the sweep shot to his best in order to perform well in the Indian conditions.

“Hayden’s a great example,” Border added.

“He just developed a fantastic sweep shot, and it’s a hard shot, because if you do get it wrong and you get hit on the pad, with the DRS now.”

Hayden scored 303 runs at an average of 75.75, courtesy of 2 half-centuries and one century on the 2001 Indian tour. The way he used the sweep shots was admired by many.


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