Travis Head entered the Ashes with a question mark beside his name, but he made it an exclamation in a stunning statement ton.
Aussie batter Travis Head has finally come of age in Test cricket, smashing a commanding century of day one of the fifth Ashes Test at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena.
Head had come into the Ashes series with a question mark next to his name as he was one of the last players to cement his place in the team.
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But his second century of the series in a brisk innings on a green top with near English conditions has almost certainly penned his name into the number five spot in permanent marker.
Head came to the crease at 3/12 and had to rebuild the innings alongside Marnus Labuschagne.
But rather than take his time on what had proven a tricky wicket as Australia struggled in the opening 10 overs, Head appeared to treat the English bowlers with disdain.
He flew to a near run a ball 50, before only slowing down slightly in the 90s to bring up his fourth Test century in style.
Although he was out the very next ball after bringing up the milestone, it was a tremendous knock from Head, who appeared at ease from ball one in the middle.
So dominant was Head, that England tried some odd fields which failed to shut him down.
Of his 101 runs, 35 were scored through the cover region according to ESPNcricinfo, while he scored eight of his 12 fours between point and cover.
It saw Cricbuzz reporter Bharat Sundaresan pointing out one of the more interesting field as five fielders tried to cut off his free scoring on the off-side.
Head has been one of the standouts of the 2021/22 Ashes series, leading all run scorers despite having missed the Sydney Test after contracting Covid.
He’s smashed two centuries and a fifty, hitting 349 runs at an average of 69.8 and an unbelievable strike rate of 87.46.
The next best of players to have played more than one match is Mitchell Starc, who strikes at 67.11 runs per 100 balls.
And despite thrashing 152 in just 148 balls at the Gabba in the first Test, Fox Cricket’s Mike Hussey has declared Head’s Hobart innings was “better”.
“We can compare, he made a brilliant 150 up at the Gabba and he’s made a magnificent 101 here, which was the better innings,” Hussey asked.
“In my mind, this is the better innings than the one at the Gabba and the reason why I say that is he came in up at the Gabba after Labuschagne and Warner had done a lot of hard work and he could come later when the bowlers were tired and the pitch had flattened out a bit and he could play in that aggressive nature.
“But today, Australia were 3-12, the ball was nipping around everywhere and he still had the courage to come out and play with such an aggressive mindset.”
Social media also heaped praise on the star — even the Barmy Army had to give it up.
But the modest 28-year-old said he was happy with how he has played this series.
“I think I’ve read the conditions well, and some of the conditions well and some of the conditions up and situation of the game well – and that’s what was asked of me at the start of the series,” Head said.
“I’m under no illusions that the boys at the top of the order have done a fantastic job to bat behind. Those boys have set an amazing platform over the first three Tests and I was able to capitalise on that over a few times.
“I knew from Adelaide it was going to be tough going to Melbourne and Sydney and I was bracing myself for an opportunity would arise that I needed to play a different way and that may be in Hobart. I know the opportunity will rise in the near future where I have to play a different way, but I’ve been happy with the way I’ve moved, the positive nature that I’ve played and when the game’s dictated what’s been needed, I’ve been able to sum it up well.
“It’s nice summing it up well, but also going out there and doing, I’ve been able to do it but I’ve been lucky enough to be in some nice positions to bat.”
Originally published as Bizarre field image proves Travis Head century is on another level