Recalled Head has a phenomenal white ball record: Bailey
Travis Head capped off his Ashes breakout campaign with a surprise return to the forefront of selector thinking for white ball formats with national coach George Bailey today hailing his ‘phenomenal’ clean ball record.
Head was named in Australia’s 16-man squad today for the Dettol T20 series against Sri Lanka which begins next month, Australia’s first home games ahead of October’s World Cup defense T20 won last November.
And South Australia also look set to play a part in the one-day squad, with key players potentially missing the white ball matches at the end of the Pakistan Test tour, as a ODI World Cup is approaching next year in India. .
“Trav is a very talented cricketer in all three formats. I think we are seeing him enter the best years of his life, hopefully, in terms of the way he plays cricket,” Bailey said today .
“We’ve seen tremendous form with the bat over the Test series, and he’s just a quality ball striker, he’s a quality cricketer.
“So we’re just looking to get him involved in the white ball stuff as much as possible.”
Head won the Compton-Miller medal as a series player with centuries in Brisbane and Hobart among his 357 runs which had an 86.02 strike rate. That strike rate on an entire Ashes streak is second only to Ian Botham’s 1981 effort for hitters scoring at least 300 runs.
A veteran of 42 one-day players and 16 T20 internationals, Head has not played whiteball cricket for Australia since 2018 and was last mentioned in dispatches in mid-2020, when he was included in an initial 26-man squad for a shut-out series of England balls but was cut from the tour on the 21st.
“We’ve seen the way he’s played and the pace at which he’s played his Test cricket (and) his national one-day record over the last two years has been phenomenal,” Bailey said today.
“The only part of his game that he probably didn’t have the continuity or the time to focus on was his T20 cricket, but if you go back to his story, there’s a skill set that lends itself to that. format.
“He adapts very well to what he can do and offers a bit of flexibility.”
However, Head will not be in the starting line-up for the opener on February 11 at the SCG with Australia selecting a side that “ended up being a lot closer to full strength than we were perhaps anticipating. be” after the withdrawal of New Zealand. of an ODI tour.
“The World Cup squad that we had since the end of last year, there won’t be a lot of changes that I wouldn’t have considered in the next four months in view of the World Cup. this year,” Bailey said.
“But what we’re looking for are really specific replacements and opportunities for guys if the need arises to use them before October.”
Head has yet to shoot since returning to the Adelaide Strikers for this summer’s KFC BBL Finals with scores of 3 and 5, but boasts a T20 international career average of 26.58 and a strike rate above 130 in 16 matches.
Head’s opportunities could hinge on how substitute XI coach Andrew McDonald is structured in the series.
While Australia have typically used five bowlers in the home T20s (three fast, two spinners), they managed to use just one spinner during the World Cup, with Ashton Agar being the missing man.
If they persist with this World Cup-winning structure, Head – who can make convenient right-arm breaks – could see himself entering the batting line-up as a replacement for Mitch Marsh, particularly if Marcus Stoinis plans to return. at the Bowling of the Sri Lanka Series comes to fruition.
However, if Agar returns with the T20 World Cup defense in mind, Head could be ousted and Steve Smith could reclaim his place at No.3.
“One of the things that was really important in trying to impress Ash at the World Cup itself was that he wasn’t let down, he just didn’t fit into the group. “Bailey said today.
“We’ve got so much cricket coming up that he’s going to have a lot of opportunities; completely different conditions in Australia so bigger pitches, the spin plays a different role to what it did in the UAE and our versatile players can also play a different role.
“The beauty of the amount of play we have is that Ash will have lots of opportunities and we can play around with different makeups and see which one we think will hold us best come October.”
Dettol T20 Series vs. Sri Lanka 2022
Australia team: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
Sri Lankan team: To confirm
February 11: Premier T20, SCG, 7:10 p.m. AEDT
February 13: second T20, SCG, 7:10 p.m. AEDT
February 15: Third T20, Manuka Oval, 7:10 p.m. AEDT
February 18: Fourth T20, MCG, 7:10 p.m. AEDT
February 20: Fifth T20, MCG, 7:10 p.m. AEDT
All matches broadcast exclusively on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports. ABC Tribune Radio Coverage