‘Using our Head’: Why Travis Head should be Australia’s next captain

Watching the Australian squad run out onto the pitch in Ahmedabad after claiming their sixth World Cup title was nothing short of heartwarming.

So in a stroke of irony, it was a man named Travis Head with his mental fortitude that got them there in emphatic style.

Putting on 137 runs in the World Cup Final under immense pressure as well as scoring 163 in a Man of the Match effort to clinch the World Test Championship from India is the stuff of legend in a whirlwind 12 months for the middle order machine.

The 2024 Allan Border Medal favourite is currently in the form of his life, which has been a culmination of continued improvement over the last three years.

Cricket legends are choosing him to take up the mantle of Test and ODI captain when Pat Cummins decides to pack it in. Australian great, Ian Healy had this to say regarding Travis Head’s recent ascension: “He’s a possible captain. Who’s our next captain? I don’t think Marnus is the captaincy type but Travis Head is. He captained South Australia since he was 21”.

Head has the qualifications to take over the mantle, he has been captaining South Australia in Sheffield shield since 2015 and before that captained the Australian under 19s side.

Head also leads the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League when relieved of international duty.

There is an impending mass exodus of senior players in the test team namely, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Steve Smith.

This will almost guarantee Head will step up as vice-captain of the side next to Pat Cummins who are both the same age (30).

???????? Travis Head in 2023 ????????

????Tests: 848 runs @ 47.11, 76.32 sr
???? ODIs: 570 runs @ 51.81, 133.17 sr
???? T20Is: 115 runs @ 38.33, 169.11 sr
???? POTM in two finals

The ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year for 2023? ???? pic.twitter.com/4FXkiDZwry

— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 22, 2023

With this in mind it will begin a focus shift to a new core of players for Australia which will include, Cummins, Head, Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green who could all go on to play for many more years.

Although Cummins has finally won over his many critics with his successes in 2023 and now has the right to captain for as long as he wishes, there still seems to be a prejudice amongst many against bowlers being test captains.

It bodes well for Head that he has become a well rounded player.

He is a handy left arm spinner, having taken key wickets in a number of important moments at both Test and ODI level. He has also demonstrated his fielding prowess, namely his catch to dismiss Virat Kholi, which proved to be the turning point in the World Cup Final.

Travis Head joins a legendary list ???? #INDvAUS | #CWC23Final pic.twitter.com/4DmQK3zMjl

— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 21, 2023

More than anything is Head’s tenacity and knack for delivering his best performances on the biggest stages. When needed most, he manages to get Australia out of trouble as evidenced by his man of the match performances in the World Cup semi and final as well as in the WTC final this year.

This clutch gene is what numerous captains before him possessed, even Cummins has turned up for his team numerous times to deliver Australia wins when they needed them most.

Head only seems to be getting better with age, and is now lauded as being Australia’s next great opener once David Warner calls time on his career after their series against Pakistan.

Whilst all this is still speculation, the evidence is hard to ignore. Cummins may still have five years left in the top job, but a lot can happen in that time.

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There are still people advocating for Marcus Labuschagne or Cameron Green to be the successor for the captaincy after Cummins is gone.

But, selectors will use their head, not their heart when electing a replacement and as of right now, there seems to be only one man for the job.

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