Friday, February 1, 2019 will go down as a marquee day in the burgeoning cricket career of South Gawler’s Travis Head.
In the inaugural Test match played at Manuka Oval, in our nation’s capital, Canberra again Sri Lanka, Head, who arrived at the crease with his country on the brink of collapse at 3/28, achieved a childhood dream.
Shortly after tea, he punched the air in triumph as he reached his first test century in his eighth game in the “baggy green”. Head was 91 not out of tea after surviving a chance on 87 at gully.
He brought up his ton with a drive through the off side.
Head would go on to make a huge score of 161 in a 308-run partnership with Joe Burns (who made 180).
Australia would finally declare its first innings closed after lunch on day two having scored 5/534.
Currently the highest run scorer for Australia over the 2018-19 summer, Head has already passed the 500-test run mark. His century follows four half centuries in his opening seven tests.
Now 25 – former SA Under 19s title winning skipper and Redbacks’ youngest captain – Head has made centuries across all forms of the game.
He made a brilliant 101 not out for the Strikers in a New Year’s Eve spectacular against the Sydney Sixers.
Head made 202 in one-day domestic matches for the Redbacks as well.
In first-class cricket Head currently has seven centuries including a best on 192 for South Australia.
Previous to making this Test debut, Head and already made a one-day century for his country.
Emotional when speaking on radio at the end of the day he pays respect to his late teammate Phil Hughes and also honoured him by gesturing towards the sky when celebrating his milestone.
“Yeah I dedicated it to a few, but Hughesy as well, a little bit emotional to be honest,” Head told SEN Radio.
“It was a little bit about trying to get the momentum back, it was a little like last week where we lost quick wickets and were a little bit under the pump, it was trying to get that momentum back.
“Last week I started my innings really well, left the ball really well, just tried to get that momentum back and get it to swing back our way.”
SA has produced a number of left-handed test centurions, including fellow Gawler talent Darren Lehmann, the late David Hookes, Wayne Phillips and the great Clem Hill. Head adds his name to the list.
Head and Burns triple century stand was the first triple century partnership and a record for Australia in fixtures against Sri Lanka.
Previously, Dean Jones and Steve Waugh produced an unbeaten 260-run stand for the fifth wicket during 1989 in Hobart, which was the highest partnership in Australia-Sri Lanka Tests.
With Australia going to England later this year for a prized “Ashes series” Head has guaranteed a flight to the old country as a member of the Australian team.