Test discard sends selectors huge Ashes statement

4 weeks ago 14
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Discarded Test batter Travis Head has delivered Australia's selectors a tantalising statement just over two months out from the opening match of the Ashes, plundering a century in the Marsh Sheffield Shield opener.

The South Australia captain struck 163 runs from 215 balls on day three of his side's clash with Western Australia, helping the Redbacks to 492 all out in reply to the Warriors' 9-465 declared. Western Australia are now 1-76 at stumps, leading by 49 runs in their second innings.

Batting at No.4, Head walked to the middle at 2-68 and had helped South Australia climb to 6-397 by the time of his departure.

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The 27-year-old peeled off 18 fours and three sixes in his hasty knock at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval, before scooping a Joel Paris delivery to Shaun Marsh at midwicket.

South Australia captain Travis Head punches through cover during his innings of 163. (Getty)

Head was ably supported by Redbacks recruit Jake Carder, who made 118 runs off 237 balls at first drop, hitting 15 boundaries.

The 25-year-old was lured from Western Australia to bolster South Australia's middle order, following Callum Ferguson's retirement, Tom Cooper's axing and the sackings of three other batters.

Head has compiled 1153 runs, including two tons and seven half-centuries, at an average of 39.75 from his 19 Tests.

But he hasn't represented Australia in the five-day format since facing India in last year's Boxing Day Test.

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The left-hander dropped out of the side ahead of the SCG Test as Matthew Wade slid from opening to batting at No.5, with Will Pucovski joining David Warner at the top of the order.

Head had only managed scores of seven, 38 and 17 over the first two Tests of the series against India, while he had also had several technical flaws exposed.

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Former Test captain Ian Chappell was scathing of Head after the MCG Test.

"He hasn't convinced me at any point that he is good enough for Test cricket," Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

"The thing that I'd say about Travis Head is, as a top-order batsman, you can't be vulnerable in so many ways.

Australia's Travis Head plays through the off side during last year's Boxing Day Test against India. (Getty)

"If I'm looking at him as an opponent, I'm thinking there are quite a few ways we can get this guy out.

"He was almost out first ball against the short delivery, he's got a problem with that, he's got a problem with nicking into the slips, he has trouble with the spinners, I can see ways there that an off-spinner like (Ravichandran) Ashwin would be confident in getting him out.

"As a top-order batsman, you can't be vulnerable in that many areas."

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