Travis Head says attention on star man Steve Smith helped him excel at Lord’s

By Sports Desk June 07, 2023

Travis Head felt the presence of Steve Smith allowed him to “sneak under the radar” as he cracked a wonderful century on day one of the World Test Championship final against India.

With 30 centuries, 8,792 runs and an average of just under 60, Smith is always a prize target whenever he steps on to the field.

But while he reasserted his class with a thoroughly composed innings of 95 not out at the Oval, it was Head who took centre stage with a dashing 146 not out.

Australia ended the day in charge of the showpiece on 327 for three, a huge position of strength given Head arrived at 76 for three.

Speaking after an unbroken stand of 251 with Smith, Head said: “We don’t talk too much out there but I do really enjoy batting with Steve, because of how much attention he receives in terms of the bowler’s plans.

“Whenever I bat with him I always feel like I’m in the shadows, that you can sneak under the radar and go about your business because he draws so much attention.

“I felt like that again today, I knew he wasn’t going to go anywhere once he got in that rhythm.

“He loves batting over here and he’s unbelievable in these conditions. We’re completely different but the partnership works really nicely.”

Head’s sixth Test hundred was a bruising affair, comprising 22 fours and a six, but it was most notable for being his first away from Australia.

With an Ashes series coming hot on the heels of the WTC final, he could hardly have timed the landmark better having been dismissed for 90 in Ahmedabad in March.

“It’s a nice feather in the cap, I’ll look back in the future on a nice little moment,” he said.

“I missed the chance in India a couple of months ago, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I just want to contribute and play well, if that’s a hundred great, but it doesn’t faze me in the slightest.

“This week is hugely important to us for the last two years of hard work but as we move to the Ashes if it’s a low scoring series I just want to contribute, even if that doesn’t mean hundreds.

“All you can do is be around your peers, see what they’re doing and try to excel. We’ll see where that leads us in the next six weeks.”

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