Travis Head has revealed he protested the Australian selectors’ decision to omit him from the first Test in Nagpur.
The call to axe Head for opener Matt Renshaw came as a shock given the middle order batter’s tally of 525 runs over the Australian summer was only bettered by Marnus Labuschagne.
Desperate for a chance to overturn his poor record in Asia, Head voiced his displeasure with selectors Tony Dodemaide and Andrew McDonald on the eve of the match.
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“It was something that I didn’t expect coming here,” Head said.
“The conversations were robust. Everyone has different opinions.
“I respect the coaching staff and selectors and I have a really strong relationship with them. I think that’s what made the conversations the way they went because there’s respect that goes both ways and we were able to voice our opinions.
“I woke up the next morning and I’m still on tour playing for Australia, I still get to do what I love to do.
“I’d love to be competing and playing but there’s another way I can support the guys the best I could and prepare the best way I could for another opportunity. I still feel like I’m in a great space. It’s just one week that didn’t go my way.”
After being recalled for the second Test, Head was pleased with his efforts in Delhi.
He scored 12 batting at No.5 in the first innings before striking an aggressive 43 from 46 balls in the second as David Warner’s replacement at the top of the order.
With Warner now back in Australia, Head has claims as a long-term Test opener.
“They’re extremely skilful bowlers, but I was really pleased with the way I was going forward and back and watching length and a few of the things I’d worked on,” Head said.
“It was a small sample piece but over here small sample pieces can be a little bit of gold.
“After missing out on the first Test, I’d bat anywhere that the team needed me to get a game.”
The side’s preparations for the third Test in Indore have focused on communication, particularly the need for the two batters at the crease to quickly sum up conditions and the mtch situation.
Australia started day three of the second Test with their noses in front before a disastrous morning session where they lost nine wickets for just 52 runs.
“Communication over here in stemming momentum is probably the most important thing we can do,” Head said.
“It’s tough to try to gain momentum when the team is as good as they are and they can exert that much pressure on you that it can crack.
“I think the communication and the relationships that we’ve built is why this team has been so strong and why this team has stayed together for a period of time.
“We’re always gonna have moments that aren’t the greatest or isn’t the best we want it. Those things happen. We accept them but we’ve also got to find a way to get better at it, to try and limit them as much as we possibly can because no one wants them.
“But it’s a challenge for us over the next couple of weeks, when we find ourselves in moments, how can we draw it back. When it’s a full stadium and there’s noise going and wickets falling, how we can draw that back.”
The team has also closed ranks around captain Pat Cummins, supporting his decision to remain by his ill mother’s bedside.
Cummins flew home after the second Test and has chosen to spend another week in Sydney with his mother Gillian, who is in palliative care.
“We’re a close group, so a lot of the guys have reached out to him,” he said.
“He’s got a lot of close friends here. The limited conversations that we’ve all had probably with him, it’s always a hard moment.
“We fully expect him to be at home. Life’s a bigger thing than cricket. It’s more important for him to be at home than be here. We truck on and find ways as a team to support him and to get on with the job.”
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