Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has compared Travis Head to legendary wicket-keeping batter Adam Gilchrist following his century against India on Day 1 of the ongoing World Test Championship Final at the Kennington Oval in London.
Speaking to ICC, Ponting compared Head to Gilchrist, adding that Head is scoring at a quicker rate than Gilchrist ever did. Head scored an unbeaten 146 and became the first batter to score a century in the WTC Finals.
“He probably is (similar to Gilchrist). In fact, he is probably scoring quicker now than Gilly probably ever did. His strike-rate through this WTC qualification period is 81, which is higher than anyone else in the world to have scored more than 500 runs,” said Ponting.
He went on to say that Head’s confidence is growing by the game, adding that he hits boundaries early in his innings, which is what you want from your middle-order batters. Head scored 146 runs off 156 deliveries, hitting 22 boundaries and a solitary six.
“His confidence is growing by the game, his strike-rate keeps going up, he hits boundaries early on in his innings which puts pressure back on the bowlers which is what you want from your middle order players, and his last two years have been quite remarkable,” Ponting added.
The former Australia skipper said Head has the ability to put away bad balls even early in his innings so it’s not a good pan to attack him early on in his innings. Head stitched a crucial and unbeaten 251-run stand with Steve Smith to put the Baggy Greens in the driver’s seat in the WTC Final.
“I think when he first comes in you need to execute perfectly to him. It is no good trying to over attack him because if you bowl any bad ball, he is going to put it away. They will learn by the way they bowled to him in this first innings, and they will definitely adjust in this second innings, but sometimes it is too late,” said Ponting.
Head’s century helped Australia post 327 for 3 on the scoreboard at stumps on Day 1 against India in the WTC Final in London.