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Head’s Historic gesture

Australia Day 2017 will be hallmarked in history as the first time Travis Head raised the bat after scoring a century for his country. And the boy from Gawler could not have picked a better place than Adelaide Oval.

In a breakthrough summer for the explosive left-hander, the West End Redbacks captain cemented himself as a regular selection in the Australian ODI and T20 sides which endured tough tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka at the end of 2016.

After resilient knocks batting at number six throughout most of the summer, Head repaid the faith shown by coach Darren Lehmann when he opened the batting in the fifth ODI against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval, delivering a blistering 128 off 137.

His first-wicket stand with fellow centurion David Warner was the highest one-day partnership by an Australian duo, eclipsing the 260-run stand between Warner and Steve Smith against Afghanistan in 2015, as the Australians set Pakistan 370 for a victory – a feat they would ultimately fail to achieve by 57 runs.

Hometown hero Head was ecstatic to have made his maiden century in the green and gold in front of the Adelaide Oval crowd.

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“It was a pretty special moment and I picked a nice place to do it – I’ve felt in good form this series and have been able to capitalise on and get a good score in front of friends and family today, it’s a fantastic moment,” he said following the match.

“As a batter I’d love to bat as high as I possibly can and if that means there’s opportunity, as there was in this series, that is fantastic.

“It’s nice to get first crack at it and get runs but I’m happy to do the job wherever it’s needed in the side.”

For Travis that also includes his handy ability as an off-spinner, having taken 11 wickets from 22 ODIs.

Perhaps unlucky not to have earned his baggy green this summer, the 23-year-old seems all but destined to shine at the game’s highest level.