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Australia all-rounder Travis Head believes being more mature and relaxed are the two key things that helped him break into the Test squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Head was one of five uncapped players picked in the squad, with the other four being Aaron Finch, Brendan Doggett, Michael Neser and Marnus Labuschagne.
Head enjoyed a lot of success with the bat while playing for Australia A in their recent four-day games against India A.
In the first match, Head scored 87 in the second innings. He then followed that up with scores of 68 and 47 in the second game.
However, while Head admitted that he has become more consistent, his ability to score runs regularly has been a reoccurring trend. It happened in the 2016/17 edition of the Sheffield Shield, where he scored 645 runs in nine games at an average of 43, and in the 2017/18 season, where he accumulated 738 runs in eight matches at an average of 46.12.
“Over the last three or four years in Shield cricket I’ve been able to put a few consistent seasons together on the board which is nice,” Head told cricket.com.au as quoted by the International Cricket Council’s website. “I think over the process of a few years I have come a bit more relaxed and especially over the last six months I have worked extremely hard on my game and the technical side of my game.
“I have spoken about my forward defence and that comes with more maturity. I just got a bit older and a bit (more) relaxed, so I am ready to go.”
While Head has been turning heads and making his presence felt with the bat, he wants to replicate that success with the ball. Even though it has not happened yet, Head is determined to take his game to the next level, whereby he begins contributing in both aspects.
“It’s something that I have worked hard on, although I didn’t get the results in India (with Australia A) that I would have liked,” the 24-year-old, who bowls off-spin, said. “I don’t think it really reflected how well I was bowling at training, so hopefully I get a bit of an opportunity.”
Head has already begun captaining South Australia and recently took over the leadership role in Australia A’s limited overs side. Despite this, he insisted that he isn’t overly concerned about claiming the vice-captaincy position in Australia’s Test squad.
“There is a lot of talk about that (vice-captain) role, but (I hope) I can help the team in any way, whether that be with leadership or with my batting, bowling, fielding, training, standards or values,” he said. “Everyone in that team is a leader. It is a great bunch of individuals and a great bunch of guys that work extremely hard at their craft and what they do. It’s not going to take just “Painey” (captain Tim Paine) and just “JL” (coach Justin Langer).
“It’s going to take a collective group over the series and over a period of time to get to where we want to get to.”