Head in ‘good space’ to seal number five spot in Australia’s Ashes team

Travis Head says he is in a “great space” to nail down the number five spot in the Australia line-up by scoring runs in an Ashes series he thinks will be decided by batting.

New skipper Pat Cummins said on Sunday that Head, dropped last year during the home series loss to India, had beaten Usman Khawaja to the spot in the middle order for the first Test against England, which starts in Brisbane on Wednesday.

“I feel like I’m in a good space,” the lefthander, who has a Test average a shade under 40, told reporters at the Gabba on Monday.

“The last couple of years have been really solid in (Sheffield) Shield cricket, now to take those learnings into Test cricket.

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“There’s been opportunities to take that spot a few times. I’ve taken my chance a couple of times, let it slip a couple of times. That happens. I feel like I’m in a great space to try and take that space and contribute for Australia.”

Head won the first of his 19 Test caps against Pakistan in 2018 and played in four of the five matches in the last Ashes series in England in 2019, which was drawn 2-2 to leave Australia in possession of the urn. The 27-year-old South Australian thinks the upcoming series will be similarly hotly-contested and won by whichever batting line-up gets the upper hand.

“We talked a lot about how good both bowling attacks were in that series, and who could get the most runs,” he added.

“It’s about putting pressure on a world class bowling attack … As a batting group, knowing the conditions really well, it’s about taking the opportunity and getting really big scores.”

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