Published 15:48 IST, April 14th 2024

Pressure is to continue to play the way I'm playing: Head eyes T20 WC glory

Travis Head raised his career graph a few notches up in 2023 but the Australian batter understands that staying at that level is a challenging task, and the first stop for him in that journey is the upcoming T20 World Cup.

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Travis Head eyes T20 WC glory | Image: AP

Travis Head raised his career graph a few notches up in 2023 but the Australian batter understands that staying at that level is a challenging task, and the first stop for him in that journey is the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Head’s hundreds in two of the biggest cricketing occasions last year – the WTC final and the 50-over World Cup summit clash – were Australia’s guiding force against India.


But the 30-year-old now wants to be at his best-prepared self for the World Cup through the Indian Premier League experience.

“I've come a long way as a player. I guess owning a little bit of the style I want to play and the way I have played overseas too, I've been able to tick a few boxes. Now, the pressure is to continue to play the way I am playing,” Head told PTI in an interview.


“I think in all formats, I need to make sure that I go back to what simplifies everything, which is my technique and my blueprint,” he added.

Head showed his adaptive skills while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing IPL.


Coming in as an opener, Head made 133 runs from five matches while striking at 177, giving SRH early momentum and also underscoring his readiness for a hectic T20 role for his country.

“With the World Cup coming around the corner and, hopefully, being involved in that squad and batting at the top of the order…it gives me good preparation here in the IPL to try and get some runs and have a little bit of form going into the World Cup,” noted Head.


But playing a full season of IPL could lead to burnout ahead of the ICC marquee event in June.

Head was aware of it. “I think it is important for me to make sure that I'm mentally fresh throughout the IPL and continuing to work on my game, and making sure that I am ready for the World Cup when that time comes. But I am feeling like I am prepared and ready at the moment,” he added.


The confidence level inside Head was evident when he smashed a 24-ball 62 in his first IPL match in seven years.

The South Australian said his increased game awareness helped him make an instant impact.

“It was nice to get some runs in the first game, and honestly, I didn't really have too many expectations.

It's been a long time between IPLs for me, seven years, but I've learned a lot over that time and am a lot more mature now.

“I feel like I understand my game a lot more. So, a lot of different feelings coming back and not trying to be too nervous or worried about results. I am just making sure that the things that I've done over the last few years are going to work and I best prepare myself to play well for the franchise,” he said.

However, Head admitted that the presence of Pat Cummins (captain) and Daniel Vettori (head coach) in the SRH dressing room eased him into the new environment.

“Definitely having Pat and Dan, who I've worked closely with for Australia in the last few years, has helped me. It's a very relaxed environment.

“Soon as I got my contract, I knew that I had the backing from those guys and they’ve confidence in my game,” he said.

A chat with Head will not be completed with his exploits against India last year with him terming the World Cup final at Ahmedabad the biggest moment in his career.

The left-hander made buccaneering 120-ball 137, propelling the Aussies to a six-wicket victory and their sixth ODI World title.

“I think the World Cup final was probably the biggest match of my career, regardless of whether I got runs or not. It was a huge moment. Obviously, I have not played in a World Cup before.

"So, to have all the stuff that happened, making it to a final and then being able to contribute in the final makes it all so much better,” he explained.

Head said the foundation for his overwhelming success against India was built during the 2023 Test tour, where he made a couple of 40s at New Delhi and Indore, besides a 90 at Ahmedabad.

“The two finals come to mind. But a big Test series (2023) and some T20 games in between…I feel I drew a lot of my blueprint and confidence from that Test tour in India, which then flowed into the World Test Championship and then especially to the World Cup final.

“I was able to draw back on some of the things that worked well on those wickets and it’s nice that it has come together in big games for me,” Head offered.

Head felt that his confident approach found perfect resonance in the Hyderabad dressing room in the ongoing IPL.

“We want to be aggressive and I think we've shown that in the first five games. It suited me as well. I feel, at the moment, we're being really aggressive in the right way and the right moments.

“Obviously, Power Play is very important for us and hopefully Abhi (Abhishek Sharma) and I can continue to do what we've been doing in the Power Play,” he signed off. PTI UNG ATK

14:23 IST, April 14th 2024