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Warm-up: Head looking to put India A under pressure

December 05, 2020 19:22 IST
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Travis Head Head scored 237 runs, including two fifties, in the last home Test series against India.

IMAGE: Travis Head Head scored 237 runs, including two fifties, in the last home Test series against India. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia batsman Travis Head said they will look to test their skills against India's "unbelievable" bowling attack and put the visitors under pressure during the first warm-up game starting Sunday.

 

Before the two teams face off in a much-anticipated four-Test series starting on December 17, Australia A are scheduled to play two three-day tour games against India A, which features Test specialists.

Australia A will be led by Travis Head, and Test regulars Joe Burns and Tim Paine are a part of the squad. Australia's senior team is led by Paine and the experienced campaigner will be looking to gain some game-time ahead of the four-match Test series against India.

The four-day practice game will be clashing with the second T20I between India and Australia. The Virat Kohli-led side may play some of their regulars in the practice match, and as a result, those players will miss out on the second T20I.

"Nice to have some memories and stuff from that series, but (they are) an unbelievable bowling attack and been well supported throughout the whole attack," the 26-year-old Head Head said in a virtual press conference, facilitated by official broadcasters Sony Networks.

"... you get through the new ball and someone like (Mohammed) Shami comes on and he's just so relentless on his length. There was just no rest that, you had to be on for every bowler.

"That is expected of Test cricket but that was my first real look at a quality attack like that. Those next spells are as strong as their first so you have to be on 100% of the time. Looking forward to that test again, again we have that chance."

While the first warm-up will be a red-ball affair, the second practice match scheduled to begin from December 11, will be played with a pink ball.

  "... it is a great opportunity with the red ball, the way we start that campaign in the same manner and we have three strong days and, I know the boys are really keen to start that three days and get leading into that Test series," he said.

"(These are) really important couple of games for us, not just as Australian A squad but as Australian squad and we want to play our best foot forward and start putting the Indian guys under pressure."

He also said that the Australian A team has been strong in the last one and a half years.

"But again, like I said earlier, the squad that has come together, (it) is a great squad and over the 12-18 months, its been a strong Australia A team, which in-turn make a strong Australian team, guys are fighting for positions and guys have had great season."

Head, who has played 17 Tests, said "it is a new opportunity to develop my leadership."

"...really looking forward to play with different guys and how different guys operate and working with them to hopefully have really good three days."

Head scored 237 runs, including two fifties, in the last home Test series against India.

Asked what lessons he took from that series against India two years back, Head said: "A lot of things, my game has developed a long way since then.

"I guess I had more test of Test cricket and I have had a couple of performances since that series, so you take confidence from everything you've done, you take experiences from every game you've played and every team you've come up against."

He said he had enough net sessions and was raring to go on Sunday.

"I am raring to go. I feel I have done enough net sessions now and enough training and I am not tired, I am really refreshed.

"I am at perfect peak to get into the games and it is bit different to have this period off in the middle of the summer, it is going to be huge rest of the summer and huge Test series," he signed off.

Paine has been named in Australia A's 13-member squad for the practice match against India A.

The practice match will be played at the Drummoyne Oval, Sydney. After this match, India will also get much-needed practice with the pink ball ahead of the first Test against Australia.

The second practice-match is scheduled to begin on December 11 and it would be played with a pink ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The first Test between India and Australia is slated to begin from December 17 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and this would be a pink-ball match.

Australia and India are currently at the top two positions in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings.

Australia A's 13-member squad is as follows: Joe Burns, Will Pucovski, Marcus Harris, Travis Head (c), Cameron Green, Nic Maddinson, Tim Paine (wk), Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Mark Steketee, Harry Conway, Will Sutherland.

India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj.

 

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