The rise and rise of Travis Head, the man of big moments

Sushim Mukul
Sushim MukulNov 20, 2023 | 17:40

The rise and rise of Travis Head, the man of big moments

Travis Head was named the Player of the Match in the World Cup final: Photo: ICC

Back in 2016, the legendary spin wizard Shane Warne predicted that Travis Head would become an all-format future star for Australia. On Sunday, November 19, Head proved Warnie right by showcasing his match-winning prowess with a stunning 137 runs, steering Australia to its 6th World Cup title, triumphing over the unbeaten India.

The World Cup final

  • Chasing a mere 240, Australia faced an early setback with the quick loss of three wickets: David Warner, Mitch Marsh, and Steve Smith.
  • Travis Head, one of the openers, witnessed the top order crumble against the Indian pace attack of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
  • What followed was a nightmare for the Indian Team as Head propelled his team forward with 137 off 120, comprising 15 fours and 4 sixes, at a scoring rate of 114.17.
  • His heroic performance in the final was preceded by being awarded the Player of the Match in the semis against South Africa, where he dismissed Klassen and Jansen and scored a formidable 62 off 48, chasing South Africa's total of 212. Head's skills and determination were on full display.

  • Reflecting on the moment, Head expressed, "It's hard to put into words how it felt. I felt so in control with 'Marn' (Marnus Labuschagne) out there. We spoke today about not leaving anything on the table and not leaving anything to chance."

The World Test Championship final

  • Just seven months ago, Head's 163 & 18 at The Oval in June denied India another ICC title, in its second appearance in test cricket's grandest showdown.
  • His newfound success in Test cricket, including a maiden century against Pakistan and a stellar performance in the 2023 World Test Championship final, solidified his status as a versatile and accomplished batsman.

Overcoming adversity

  • Travis Head's return to white-ball cricket in 2022, sporting his signature Aussie moustache after a hiatus, underscores his resolute determination and adaptability.

  • His explosive century against Pakistan in the ODIs at the Gaddafi Stadium and a remarkable partnership with David Warner against England at the MCG established his position in limited-overs cricket.

  • The journey to the World Cup squad wasn't without challenges for Head. Nursing a broken hand just weeks before the tournament, his inclusion was a risky decision that eventually paid off spectacularly.

Captain Pat Cummins praised, "He had a broken finger, a broken hand for half of the tournament, but to keep him in the squad was a huge risk."


"Trav, the player we've seen in Test cricket, just epitomised everything I want out of a cricket team," Cummins added.

Rise and rise

  • Head's final heroics not only marked the highest individual score in a men's ODI World Cup final while chasing but also constituted his second century in ICC tournament finals.
  • His aggressive approach against the likes of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah showcased his ability to confront challenging situations head-on.

Though Marnus and Zampa were anticipated to excel for Australia, it was Head who emerged as the standout performer. His recent performance in the World Cup final suggests that he might carry this momentum into the upcoming T20 series against India, commencing on November 23, despite not having a flashy IPL contract to his name.

Last updated: November 20, 2023 | 17:40
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