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The 'Head'ache That Cost India Two World Titles Inside Six Months

Curated By: Feroz Khan


Last Updated: November 19, 2023, 22:49 IST

New Delhi, India

Travis Head is the latest centurion in a world cup final. (AP Photo)

Travis Head is the latest centurion in a world cup final. (AP Photo)

Twice in the space of just over months that India and Australia have contested in the final of a world championship and on both occasions, Travis Head stood tall.

Long after the dust has settled over the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, a certain Travis Head will be long remembered for the role he played in stopping an all-conquering Indian team, twice, across different formats, en route to helping Australia to two world titles in the space of just over five months.

A big match player is what Head is. And at the packed Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, he showed exactly why Australia backed him to the hilt, waiting for him to recover and deliver.

And deliver he did.

His first match of the world cup 2023 was against New Zealand in Dharamsala. He blazed away to a century. In the next three matches, he managed 11,0 and 10.

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Come the semi-finals, he raised the standards and struck a half-century to set the base of an impressive Australian win as they defeated another dominant side of the competition South Africa.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Twice.

In the final match, against a team that had dismantled all their opponents for an unbeaten run to the title clash, Head produced a dominating century to fire Australia to a record-extending sixth ODI World title.

A few months back, in June, Head had engineered another Australian win in the final of the World Test Championship after walking in to bat at 76/3 against India at The Oval in London.

Back then, he clubbed 25 fours and a six in a hair-raising century that saw him slam 163 off 174 to help Australia to 469-all out. Australia went on to register a 209-run win to win their first ever WTC title.

It was as this ODI World Cup triumph was written in the stars for Head who was retained by Australia in their squad despite him getting injured during a series in South Africa.

A fractured finger delayed his world cup participation. He missed as many as five matches as Australia made a scratchy start, losing two matches before getting the campaign back on track with a hat-trick of wins.

Head’s entry came as an instant boost and the faith was repaid with a century in the title clash. 137 off 120 with the help of 15 fours and four sixes. In front of a 92000-plus fans and a partisan one at that. And on a pitch where only two India batters managed to score half-centuries.

Truly, a headache that will continue to haunt India for some time to come.

first published:November 19, 2023, 22:49 IST
last updated:November 19, 2023, 22:49 IST