Stead­fast Head keeps wolf from the door

The Weekend Post - - Sport -

be­fore South Aus­tralian Head’s in­ter­ven­tion.

Head, in his third Test, was the only Aus­tralian to reg­is­ter a half-cen­tury in re­ply to In­dia’s 250.

“It’s nice to do the job for the team. That’s all I’m here to do. We hung in there in the end. In­dia bowled ex­cep­tion­ally to­day. We’ve got a re­ally im­por­tant hour in the morn­ing. Ev­ery run is go­ing to be valu­able,” Head said.

There had been calls for Head to be dropped – de­spite a match-sav­ing 132-run stand on de­but with Us­man Khawaja against Pak­istan in Dubai – given Ravi Ash­win’s hold over left-han­ders.

It was Head, 24, who looked rock solid against pro­lific off­spin­ner Ash­win, armed with a com­pre­hen­sive brief from house­mate Harry Nielsen who blasted a ton for the Cricket Aus­tralia XI last week­end.

Aus­tralia lacked a sense of strat­egy and pos­i­tiv­ity at the crease with the ex­cep­tion of Head, who ab­sorbed the best In­dia’s in­spired at­tack led by Ishant Sharma (2-31), Jasprit Bum­rah (2-32) and Ash­win (3-50) could throw at him.

Ch­estesh­war Pu­jara had res­cued In­dia in the open­ing day and it was Head who stepped up for Aus­tralia.

Head stripped back his tech­nique dur­ing a county stint with Worces­ter­shire in May, learn­ing to tem­per nat­u­ral stroke­play with pa­tience and a for­ti­fied for­ward de­fence.

All the work with a range of men­tors in­clud­ing Chris Rog- ers, Jeff Vaughan and Greg Blewett this year paid off.

Head’s first 22 runs took 69 balls, show­ing the fruits of com­mit­ment to a watch­ful ap­proach over the past six months.

Warne noted there had to be a rea­son why Head was ap­pointed South Aus­tralia’s youngest skip­per at 21.

“He has some­thing about him and is some­one you can build a team around, a bit of per­son­al­ity and spunk and char­ac­ter about them,” Warne said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.