NSW’s chase of 328 against Victoria got off to anything but a normal start.
Travis Head has bolted himself into the selection frame for the Pakistan Tests in the UAE with a patient 87 against India A in the first unofficial Test at Bengaluru.
Falling only 13 from his ton, he did himself no harm by backing up his stunning 110 as captain in the ODIs a week before, along with scores of 68 and 47 in the second (and last) four-day match.
Many will think that this itself does not do enough for Test selection, however, Head is much more than just this stream of performances. In his last ten innings for Australia and Australia A combined he averages over 50.
On top of this, the South Australian averages 67.5 against Pakistan with one century and one half-century in five appearances. In ODIs, Head showed class and patience whilst dominating against their bowling attack which featured most of their Test bowlers.
Furthermore, he mustered an average of 46 last Shield season and the was the sixth highest run scorer in the nation. He would have topped the run scorers if not for missing four games to national duties.
His season included two centuries and four 50s in 12 innings. By reaching 50 or more in half of his domestic innings last year, he showed his growing maturity and remained a rock for the struggling Redbacks side in the 2017-18 season.
Head’s performances with the Redbacks should not be overlooked. After receiving the captaincy before he had even cemented his place in the side as a 20 year old, he brought the Redbacks to back-to-back Shield finals in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
He scored a brilliant 137* in the latter. The left hander’s form has been on the rise since the 2016-17 season, in which he averaged 43 with two 100s and three 50s, leaving him with 1385 runs at just under 45 over the last two seasons.
Lastly, he is experienced, having played 55 international matches for Australia since his debut in 2016. He ranks seventh in matches played for Australia out of the Test squad named, and with a squad as inexperienced as the one chosen, they are going to need all the help they can get.