Travis Head, the designated captain for Australia A’s warm-up game against India starting Sunday, has stated that he sees the three-day fixture as an opportunity to start putting the Indians under pressure. Head further recalled the torrid time the Indian pacers gave him in the summer of ‘18.
Despite India and Australia scheduled to play the 2nd T20I tomorrow, a chunk of the players who will be featuring in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be out there at the Drummoyne Oval going toe-to-toe with each other in what will be the first of the two three-day warm-up games. While the likes of Ravi Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari, amongst others, are expected to feature for the visitors, the hosts, too, will have a very strong at their disposal, with several Test starters expected to feature.
One among the players who will be on action for the hosts, tomorrow, will be Travis Head, and the former Aussie vice-captain believes that Sunday will be a good opportunity for the Aussies to start exerting pressure on the Indians, ahead of the Tests.
"They are a really important couple of games for us. Not just as an Australia A squad but also an Australian squad and we want to start putting the Indian guys under pressure,” Head was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
With two Test hundreds and an average of 42 to his name, Head is now a fulcrum of Australia’s middle-order, having seamlessly slotted into the No.5 role. The India series in 2018/19 - where he averaged 33.85 and got off to multiple promising starts - in a way played its part in moulding Head the Test cricketer, as the experience he garnered proved to be invaluable for his development. Ahead of Sunday’s challenge, Head recalled the metronic consistency and relentless quality the Indian seamers dished out in the tour Down Under two years ago.
"I think my game has developed a long way since then. You take confidence from everything you've done, you take experiences from every game you've played and every team you've come up against. Nice to have some memories from that series, but they are an unbelievable bowling attack and being well supported throughout.
"It's the way they were able to back up and support each other, not dissimilar to how we are with our attack, you get through the new ball and someone like [Mohammed] Shami comes on and he's just so relentless on his length. There was just no rest that, you had to be on for every bowler. That is expected of Test cricket but that was my first real look at a quality attack like that. Those next spells are as strong as their first so you have to be on 100% of the time."
The Australia A vs India game at the Drummoyne Oval will commence at 5.00 AM IST on December 6.