Travis Head ready to throw hat into IPL auction

Travis Head ready to throw hat into IPL auction

Kolkata, Nov 14 (PTI) Busy mastering red-ball cricket for some time, Australia opener Travis Head said he is now keen to explore the world of slam-bang T20 cricket and will throw his hat into the IPL auction in December.

The 29-year-old, who has featured in 42 Tests and 62 ODIs, has played just 20 T20Is in his career, scoring 460 runs with 91 being the highest score, which came against South Africa in the three-match T20I series in August-September.

'I will be in,' Head told reporters when asked if he will put his name in the IPL auction next year.

'I was restricted a little bit on time last year with getting married. I will put myself in this year and hopefully get picked up and get an opportunity. It was nice to be involved in it a long time ago.' Head had a brief stint in IPL, having played 10 games in the 2016–2017 season for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

'... this is not a format I have been involved in much over the years. It was nice to be back in South Africa and contribute in the game,' he said.

'I feel like the game has evolved now and, next year, we have a massive block out, where I can play a fair bit of white-ball cricket if I get picked up or find myself in some teams around the world, so this is a path that I wanna try to explore.

'Having put all the eggs in the red-ball basket for a period of time now and I feel like I am really in good space mentally in my game and if I can transfer through formats well then I am eager to explore what those opportunities are and get more experience and learn.' T20 cricket will take precedence in 2024 with the World T20 scheduled to be held in the West Indies and the United States from June 4 to 30 next year.

'It's not all guns blazing' =============== Returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, Head smashed 109 from 67 balls to help Australia to a five-run win over New Zealand to keep them in the semifinal race but he was dismissed for 11, 0, 10 in the next three innings.

'It's just making sure I try and get that right. It was nice to contribute in the first game, and it's been a bit lean in the last couple,' said Head ahead of their semifinal clash against South Africa.

'I feel like I try and give myself the best chance to score off balls that I feel like I can and respect the ones in between. I think you have to do that. It's international cricket, so I don't think it's all guns blazing every time.

'You hope you're in good positions to score and put the bowlers under pressure, but if they bowl well you've got to be able to get through it. So it's definitely a balancing act. I feel like I'm in a good mindset to give myself the best chance to be as positive as I can be.' Head missed the first five World Cup games after suffering a fracture in his hand while facing pacer Gerald Coetzee in the fourth ODI against South Africa in September.

Asked if he had thought about the fact that it was the South Africans that broke his hand, Head said, 'No, I'm sure he didn't mean to hit me in the hand.

'It was probably aimed a little bit higher than that. But that's all part of the game. So I take a relaxed approach to all that sort of stuff whether it's performance or injuries.

'He did me a favour, I got four weeks at home with the family, so I got refreshed to come back. And, hopefully, I can be refreshed and energised and can perform at the back end of the tournament. It might be a blessing in disguise.' The five-time champions have to get over South Africa to inch closer to their record sixth World Cup title.

'I'm sure everyone has thought about that. It hasn't really been spoken about as a group, but we know what's at the end of this tournament and what's up for grabs,' Head said.

'You've got to make the semis to give yourself a chance and if we do things right in a couple of days' time we find ourselves in a final. That's in the future, but geez, we've put in a lot of hard work over the last couple of months to get to this stage, so we want to make the most of it.' PTI ATK AM ATK AM AM

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