Travis Head takes inspiration from Marnus Labuschagne: The Australian vice-captain aims to make a comeback into white-ball formats.
Australia Test vice-captain Travis Head has expressed his desire of making a comeback into white-ball formats almost two years after playing his last ODI against South Africa at home. A regular in both Australia’s ODI and T20I squads in the period between 2016-18, Head was subsequently dropped from both the formats.
In 11 Big Bash League matches since playing his last ODI, Head has scored 291 runs at an average of 29.10 and a strike rate of 131.67 including a lone half-century. In addition to his mediocre returns in the BBL, Head only playing three matches in the Marsh Cup hasn’t further helped his case of a comeback.
Travis Head takes inspiration from Marnus Labuschagne
Head, 26, now looks upon Australia and Queensland batsman Marnus Labuschagne and aims to follow a similar trajectory to represent Australia in shorter formats. It is worth mentioning that Labuschagne found a place in white-ball formats on the back of his stupendous Test form.
“I’d love to be in all three formats but at the moment, I’m out of two of them. But hopefully I’ll be in that first Test squad for the coming summer and then the Test team, and I can perform from the start,” Head was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“As we’ve seen with Marnus [Labuschagne], he’s got massive runs in Test match cricket and forced himself into both limited-overs formats of the game. It’s almost that if you get yourself into one, you can get yourself into the others so that will be my goal,” Head said.
Head, who was part of Australia’s 26-member preliminary squad for the tour of England, failed to be among the shortlisted 21 players which eventually boarded the flight. However, the southpaw admits that he realizes where he sits in the pecking order.
“I was excited by the fact I got myself into an extended squad, then trained really hard and felt really good. I’ve missed out a few times over the last couple of years and feel like I’ve been really close.
“It’s extremely difficult to get in, which it should be. I know where I sit, I know where I have to get better and I’ll continue to do that,” Head added.
Call it flexibility or the Australian team management not being able to finalize a batting position, Head batted from No. 1 to No. 7 in his 39 ODI innings. While he never opened in T20Is, he did bat from No. 3 to No. 7 in his 15 T20I innings as well.
While Head considers himself as “flexible”, being constantly shifted up and down the order can also take a toil on a batsman. Despite doing his best as an opening batsman in ODIs (493 runs at an average and strike rate of 41.08 and 97.04 respectively), Head seems to have a slight soft corner for batting in the middle-order.
“I think I’m pretty flexible. I’ve batted one to six [seven] across the 40-odd one-dayers  I’ve played and I feel like I can do a role in either [opening or middle-order].
“But I probably see myself and Kez [Alex Carey] batting at three and four for SA [South Australia], and aim to be that match-winner in the middle-order by batting the whole innings.
“If I need to walk out there in the first over then I have that experience to face the new ball, and if I walk in in the 30th or 40th over then I think I’ve got the power game to accelerate,” Head added.