AUS vs NED: Travis Head Set To Resume Top-Order Role After Regaining Fitness, Reveals George Bailey

Updated - 21 Oct 2023, 05:22 PM

Travis Head
Travis Head (Credits:X)

Australia’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign has been a rollercoaster of performances and decisions, and one such quandary revolves around the opening slot. Travis Head, who was Australia’s designated opener, had to step away due to an injury. In his absence, Mitch Marsh filled the role impressively, even recording his second One-Day International (ODI) century during his time as an opener.

Marsh’s blistering form was exemplified by his 108-ball 121 on his 32nd birthday. This innings helped him establish a new Australian record for any wicket, sharing a colossal 259-run partnership with David Warner during a match in India.

However, despite Marsh’s sensational performance as an opener, it appears he may have to make way for Travis Head upon the latter’s return. According to George Bailey, the Chairman of Men’s National Selection, Head is poised to reclaim his spot as the opening batsman once he is cleared to play.

Travis Head, who was sidelined due to a fractured left hand sustained during a match against South Africa last month, is set to rejoin Australia’s World Cup squad in Delhi. While he has been recovering well and ticking off all the necessary medical milestones, his actual return date remains uncertain. Bailey emphasized the need for caution, ensuring Head’s full recovery before reintroducing him to the squad.

“It’s always nicer when you get eyes on it yourself,” Bailey said, as quoted by

“It can be a six to eight-week injury. He’s ticked all the boxes in terms of the four-week scan and the bone has healed, so that’s all going well, and he’s progressed really well through the week (since he started batting).

“But clearly the whole point of having him (in the squad) and carrying him to this point is not to then risk it by bringing him back early.

“So if it works out that it’s a Dutch game, great. If it’s a little bit further on, then that’s OK.”

“Clearly (Head) comes in at the top,” Bailey said. “He’s been fantastic there for us and that’s where he’ll slot in, and then we’ll just work out (the rest based on) when it is, who we’re playing, the surface and what you might need.”

Travis Head Will Replace Marnus Labuschagne Or Marcus Stoinis In The Squad

The return of Travis Head presents a welcome dilemma for Australian selectors, as the top order has shown signs of resurgence in recent matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Both Head and Marsh have had success as openers in ODIs, boasting impressive averages of 50.60 and 60.55, respectively. Warner, an integral part of the opening combination, has an average of 45.38.

When Travis Head eventually makes his comeback, it is likely to trigger a shuffle in the batting order. Marnus Labuschagne or all-rounder Marcus Stoinis might be the ones to make way in the playing XI. Stoinis has showcased his value with a pivotal spell of 2-40 against Pakistan, proving his versatility and the game-changing impact he can bring at the No. 7 position.

George Bailey emphasized the strategic flexibility that Stoinis provides to Captain Pat Cummins, who can adjust the team’s composition based on match conditions and requirements.

“(He gives captain) Pat (Cummins) the flexibility to chop and change depending on what he might need,” Bailey said. “We didn’t use Mitch (Marsh) tonight but there’s another option as well.

“‘Stoin’ bought a really great energy with his bowling and couple of really key breakthroughs to get everyone up and going, and a nice catch as well.”

Australia, after a recent victory over Pakistan in Bengaluru, has climbed to the fourth position in the World Cup standings. Their next challenge awaits as they take on the Netherlands in Delhi. Bailey acknowledged the competitive nature of the tournament, where any team can emerge victorious on any given day. The evolving dynamics of the tournament, especially when facing less-familiar opponents, encourage Australia to maintain their focus on their strategies and performances.


Australia National Cricket Team George Bailey ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 ICC ODI World Cup 2023 ICC World Cup 2023 Mitchell Marsh Travis Head