ANI Photo | ICC CWC 2023: Australian opener Travis Head optimistic about return against Netherlands

Australian opener Travis Head is positive about his return to the field in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup match against the Netherlands on Wednesday, however, the team management is cautious about not rushing him into the team as he is yet to have a full practice session after arriving in India only recently.
Australia, who got their campaign back on track with big wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan after two losses will take on Netherlands in their match on Wednesday. While the Netherlands sits in the seventh spot with one win and three losses and the Aussies are back in top four, one cannot count out the Dutch side, which has shown some remarkable cricket on-field with both bat and ball. They even beat a top-class South African side in a shocker.
Head is now in India after missing out team’s first four matches due to a broken left hand that he suffered just five weeks ago during an ODI against South Africa. Despite his injury, Head was kept in the original 15-man squad. The chairman of selectors George Bailey even said yesterday that Head would be an automatic choice for opening on his return despite Mitchell Marsh being in brilliant form.
Head revealed that he has had some nice “hits” in the nets since getting his hand out of the splint, starting off with tennis balls and then moving on to face the sidearm in the nets in Delhi. He is optimistic about playing the Netherlands, but Saturday’s clash against New Zealand looks like a better date for his return.
“I had a really good hit yesterday,” Head said on Sunday in Delhi as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“I think each session is getting better but again we have got to be mindful of the fact that I think it was five weeks [since the injury] a couple of days ago, and I sort of got told [around] that six-week mark. Everything keeps going well, but again, it is [about] how I woke up this morning. It is how I can potentially back up tomorrow and train.”
“Still a few things I need to tick off but I am optimistic. We will see what happens. If it continues on this rate, who knows. Keep doing things day-by-day to hopefully give yourself the best chance,” he concluded.
Head is confident that his bone has healed, but there is only some stiffness and pain he has to deal with. He also talked about regaining his strength and mobility in his injured hand, though he feels it will not affect his shot-making power.
“I do not hit massive sixes anyway, so maybe I will just keep them on the carpet a little bit more,” Head said.
He has been able to bowl a bit during his time away from the game but has not started fielding fully yet.
“I have been doing some catching but not at full tilt yet,” Head said.
“So that is another thing we need to tick off over the next few days. I am optimistic. Obviously, it is important to understand the process. Not trying to rush it too much because that can set us back. But it feels good. Catching has not been an issue so far. The progression over the next couple of days is to field and see where I am at.”
“I will take it slow to make sure once I come back that I am ready just to stay there,” he added.
Heady was grateful that selectors kept him in the squad despite his injury. He had also missed out on being selected for the 2019 WC in England and Wales.
“It was not something that I expected at the time. Obviously [there was] a range of emotions through those three or four days early on to think that I [had] missed a chance again to be involved. And I felt like I was contributing well,” said Head.
“When I left [South Africa] and they put it on the table there was a lot of things that needed to go really well. Very fortunate the group stayed healthy as well because that was another scenario that might not have happened. So very happy the boys were fit and going well which meant they could keep me around, which is nice.”
“But it is also nice to have the confidence to potentially do the right things and now it is a case of hopefully day-by-day getting better and hopefully I can contribute at the end and I guess pay a bit of the faith back,” he concluded. (ANI)

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