Travis Head nearly missed the World Cup because of a broken hand. Now, he’s Australian cricket’s hero after one of the great performances in the sport’s biggest showpiece helped deliver a stunning victory.
“Not in a million years would I have believed this. What an amazing day,” the 29-year-old South Australian smiled on Monday after being named player of the final.
Head was also player of the match in the semi-final against South Africa and the World Test Championship final at The Oval, where he again tormented India.
Travis Head (left) and Marnus Labuschagne with the World Cup Trophy on Monday (AEDT). Getty
But in September, a fractured left hand suffered in South Africa looked set to rule him out of the one-day international World Cup. Selectors gambled by including him in the squad with the injury, and he repaid them with a series of brilliant performances, saving the best until last.
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup win over the hosts capped a legacy-defining year and placed captain Pat Cummins’ team in the pantheon of great Australian cricket sides, alongside those led by Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Ian Chappell and Don Bradman’s Invincibles.
The core players have now won two ODI World Cups and the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup. In Test cricket the same group retained the Ashes twice in England, marginally missing out on series wins in that country but having still held the urn for six years. A Test series victory in India remains the one blemish on their record.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team for the last few years,” Cummins said.
As for Head, it wasn’t just his extraordinary 137 runs that broke more than 100,000 Indian hearts at the stadium in Ahmedabad and millions more watching the broadcast. His catch to dismissRead more on afr.com