Under pressure to justify his place in Australia’s middle order, Travis Head wasted no time repaying the confidence of the breeders as he made his way to the fastest third century in the history of ‘Ashes to put the hosts in charge of the first test on Thursday.
Head landed his third test ton on 85 balls on day two and became the first to score a hundred in a session at Gabba, propelling Australia to 343 for seven L1N2SU03O at stumps and a 196 point lead over England’s meager first innings 147. While Australia’s day was well organized with a 156-point stand between opener David Warner and number three Marnus Labuschagne, Head came to the crease as the England rallied with a three-wicket response before and after tea.
Australia had 195 for five when Cameron Green was beaten by Ollie Robinson after tea, but Head forged stabilization partnerships with Alex Carey and captain Pat Cummins to regain the lead. After raising his hundred with sublime ride towards the end, Head ripped off his helmet and roared before being enveloped in a bear hug by tailender Mitchell Starc.
He left the floor undefeated at 112, with a bruised chin and sore forearm after dealing two blows to the body of paceman Mark Wood. Head was retired in the 2-1 series loss to India last summer at home, but was called up for the Ashes side.
He beat the more experienced Usman Khawaja for the middle place of order, a move criticized by former players and pundits. Head paid tribute to new skipper Cummins and team staff for putting him at ease when he joined camp in South Queensland as the series draws near.
He brought that sense of calm to the pitch on a hot Thursday day. “Patty (Cummins) the coaching staff have been fantastic in the way they’ve handled the last six or seven days and the way they wanted to see me play,” the South Australian told reporters.
âThey just wanted me to be myself and play the game the way I see it. They have a lot of confidence in it, so I was really relaxed.â Today it happened in my direction. “
England were in all kinds of stump issues, with fitness issues regarding all-rounder Ben Stokes and a exhausted attack after a long, hot day on the pitch. Head said Australia will not slow down on day three.
“We know they will be back tomorrow,” he said of England. “(They’re) not on the ropes. It’s a long streak.”
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