Travis Head Aims to Maintain Peak Performance at T20 World Cup

Travis Head Aims to Maintain Peak Performance at T20 World Cup

Travis Head's meteoric rise in international cricket continued in 2023, with the Australian batter establishing himself as a key figure in the team's success. However, Head understands that maintaining this level of performance is a constant challenge, and he is determined to prove his worth once again at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Head's remarkable centuries in the World Test Championship final and the 50-over World Cup summit clash against India showcased his exceptional talent and ability to perform under pressure. Now, the 30-year-old is eager to translate his success into the T20 format through his experience in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"I've come a long way as a player. I guess owning a little bit of the style I want to play and the way I have played overseas too, I've been able to tick a few boxes. Now, the pressure is to continue to play the way I am playing," Head told PTI in an interview.

Head believes that simplifying his technique and focusing on his strengths will be crucial for his success in all formats. He demonstrated his adaptability while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing IPL, opening the batting and scoring 133 runs from five matches at a strike rate of 177.

"With the World Cup coming around the corner and, hopefully, being involved in that squad and batting at the top of the gives me good preparation here in the IPL to try and get some runs and have a little bit of form going into the World Cup," noted Head.

While playing a full season of IPL could lead to burnout ahead of the ICC marquee event in June, Head is aware of the potential risks. "I think it is important for me to make sure that I'm mentally fresh throughout the IPL and continuing to work on my game, and making sure that I am ready for the World Cup when that time comes. But I am feeling like I am prepared and ready at the moment," he added.

Head's confidence was evident in his blistering 24-ball 62 in his first IPL match in seven years. The South Australian attributed his immediate impact to his increased game awareness.

"It was nice to get some runs in the first game, and honestly, I didn't really have too many expectations. It's been a long time between IPLs for me, seven years, but I've learned a lot over that time and am a lot more mature now.

"I feel like I understand my game a lot more. So, a lot of different feelings coming back and not trying to be too nervous or worried about results. I am just making sure that the things that I've done over the last few years are going to work and I best prepare myself to play well for the franchise," he said.

Head acknowledged the positive influence of Pat Cummins (captain) and Daniel Vettori (head coach) in the SRH dressing room, which has helped him settle into the new environment. "Definitely having Pat and Dan, who I've worked closely with for Australia in the last few years, has helped me. It's a very relaxed environment.

"Soon as I got my contract, I knew that I had the backing from those guys and they’ve confidence in my game," he said.

Head's exploits against India last year remain a highlight of his career, with the World Cup final at Ahmedabad being the pinnacle. The left-hander's buccaneering 120-ball 137 propelled the Aussies to a six-wicket victory and their sixth ODI World title.

"I think the World Cup final was probably the biggest match of my career, regardless of whether I got runs or not. It was a huge moment. Obviously, I have not played in a World Cup before.

"So, to have all the stuff that happened, making it to a final and then being able to contribute in the final makes it all so much better," he explained.

Head believes that the foundation for his success against India was laid during the 2023 Test tour, where he made a couple of 40s at New Delhi and Indore, besides a 90 at Ahmedabad.

"The two finals come to mind. But a big Test series (2023) and some T20 games in between...I feel I drew a lot of my blueprint and confidence from that Test tour in India, which then flowed into the World Test Championship and then especially to the World Cup final.

"I was able to draw back on some of the things that worked well on those wickets and it’s nice that it has come together in big games for me," Head offered.

Head feels that his confident approach has found perfect resonance in the Hyderabad dressing room in the ongoing IPL. "We want to be aggressive and I think we've shown that in the first five games. It suited me as well. I feel, at the moment, we're being really aggressive in the right way and the right moments.

"Obviously, Power Play is very important for us and hopefully Abhi (Abhishek Sharma) and I can continue to do what we've been doing in the Power Play," he signed off.

Tags: #Twenty20WorldCup, #IndianPremierLeague, #IPL, #TravisHead, #AustralianCricket

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