Head's hands-on approach: Australia ready to tackle Oman in their T20 World Cup opener

Sports Wednesday 05/June/2024 09:21 AM
By: Ashok Purohit
Head's hands-on approach: Australia ready to  tackle Oman in their T20 World Cup opener
Travis Head

Bridgetown, Barbados: He has been in roaring form at the recently concluded IPL in India. Opening batter Travis Head, who was one of the few Australian players to arrive late in West Indies for the T20 World Cup, admitted that he knows very less of their opponents, Oman, as they open their campaign in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Wednesday (Thursday, 4.30am, Oman time).

On Tuesday, speaking at the pre-match press conference at the Kensington Oval after rains washed out the training session, the in-form opening Australian batter said: “I don’t have much knowledge about the Oman bowlers. But, at some stage over the next sort of tonight or tomorrow I may have a quick look at some of the guys.”

Head, whose recent form saw him plunder a pile of runs in the IPL, said: “I will be provided with footage of the Oman bowlers, but I prefer to get an up-close look when they go through their warm-ups.”

“You’ll get heaps of footage, but for me personally, I’ll probably just watch a little bit in the warm-up, sort of try and get a rough idea on who’s who. A little bit like I was in India [during IPL] as well, just sort of see the bowlers going through, stand somewhat near them in the warm-up and have a look at what’s going on around the bowling stuff and then stay pretty calm and relaxed.”

Head added: “I will talk to Tom, the analyst here, about how they sort of stack up in the power play and I’ll try and worry about that part and then take it from there. Try and get a rough idea who those guys are and then probably just watch them live in the warm-up and get a feel for what I’m coming in to expect.”

Head is among the lot of late-arriving Australians after making a quick trip home from India. It meant he missed both warm-up games and the final practice session was rained out on Tuesday.

It’s the first T20 World Cup for Head, who was player of the match in Australia’s ODI World Cup triumph in India last year, having also been player of the match in the World Test Championship final, showing he was a man for the big events.

 Head said it was important not to get too fired up too early.

“The one-day World Cup didn’t really feel like a World Cup until we get down to the business end of it, so a little bit the same here,” he said.

“You want to be winning every game. You want to be peaking at the right time, so for us, we start tomorrow, but also, we want to do the right things, get the Super Eights and be peaking in the back end. I think we did that really well in the one-day tournament. We want to be going fine at the right time.

“So, we want to get everything right in these first few games and make sure we’re in the right position to accelerate in the back half of the tournament.”

It may be mentioned that Australia had only nine of their squad available for their official warm-up matches in Trinidad and the whole squad assembled on the weekend, just a handful of days before their opening match against Oman. The 2021 champions played two warm-up matches, both in Trinidad. Despite depleted squad, they defeated Namibia by six wickets and lost to West Indies by 35 runs.

Australia have a 2-4 record at the iconic coastal venue but have only played here once in the format since losing the T20 World Cup final in 2010.

The Aussies have played some positive T20 cricket since the start of the calendar year, winning five of their six matches in 2024 so far. That comprises a 2-1 win over West Indies at home and a 3-0 sweep of New Zealand in late February.

Squad: Australia: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.