Travis Head justified his selection over Usman Khawaja in Australia’s playing 11 by scoring a masterclass 112 off 95 balls on Day 2 of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. The middle-order batsman pushed his team’s score to 343/7 at stumps, leading England by 196 runs. 

Head’s ton was the third fastest in Ashes, behind Adam Gilchrist (56 balls) in 2006 and Gilbert Jessop (76 balls) in 1902. The 27-year-old struck two sixes and 12 fours during his stay on the crease, remaining unbeaten alongside Mitchell Starc (10). 

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“I’m still pinching myself — I can’t quite work out what transpired over the past couple of hours. I took some chances — technically and mentally I was really composed, really relaxed. I found the first 20 runs really tough, but the game opened up and I was able to take the chances, which is pleasing,” Head said. 

In the first innings, England were dismissed for 147 runs, Pat Cummins picking a fifer on Test captaincy debut. 

Head was particularly harsh on spinners  Jack Leach and Joe Root. Coming out to the crease at 189/4, Head saw David Warner (94) and Cameron Green depart in quick succession. 

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“They did bowl well didn’t they? They hit the target on a short of a length. What an entertaining innings from Travis Head. It has to be up there for him personally, that’s the Travis Head we know. He backed himself and backed his areas and walks off with 112 to his name. At the end of the day you think this could be your last game and you try to give it everything. Keep it simple and give it everything. I left very well today, I have worked on that especially at the Gabba. When you are out of runs, you deserve some luck and I got it,” David Warner said post stumps.