Head named player of series, Hobart match

Rob Forsaith |

Australia’s self-anointed ‘wheelie bin’ Travis Head has capped a coming-of-age Ashes summer in style, trashing England’s attack to earn player-of-the-series and man-of-the-match gongs in Hobart.

The rise and rise of Head hit a new high on Sunday night, when he was awarded the Compton-Miller medal despite sitting out the drawn SCG Test after contracting COVID-19.

The South Australian scored 357 runs at 59.5 to occupy top spot on the run-scoring charts for the five-Test series.

It came a year after Head was axed at the halfway point of Australia’s series against India, one of several junctures when pundits questioned whether the left-hander would ever fulfil his potential.

Even at the start of this summer, Head stared down a challenge from Usman Khawaja to claim the final spot in Australia’s XI.

There is now no doubting the credentials of the 28-year-old, whose confidence fielding under the lid is such that he has coined the nickname “wheelie bin”.

“It’s great to have an impact,” Head said, rating his century in the fifth Test above that scored in Brisbane.

“It helps batting behind a couple of blokes who average 60.

“I have worked on a lot of things over the last couple of years.

“After 19 Tests I had a reasonable idea of what the expectation was and was so eager to get back.”

Captain Pat Cummins praised Head for playing with his unique brand of aggression, even after Australia collapsed to 3-12 on day one of the series finale.

“He goes about it a little bit differently to most other batters,” Cummins said.

“Which is his biggest strength.

“As captain, I don’t care if he gets out in non-traditional ways.

“I just want him to go out and be free, play his game.

“He’s still seen as one of the younger players but he’s got a hell of a lot of experience in domestic cricket.

“Being dropped last year and coming back .. he had a real calmness about him, real confidence, and you saw that straight away at the Gabba.”