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Travis Head return gives headache for Australia selectors ahead of Hobart Test


Australia batter Travis Head is available for the fifth and final Ashes Test, as the selectors weigh up their options before a difficult call in the coming days.

The South Australian was ruled out of the SCG Test after testing positive to COVID-19, opening the door for Usman Khawaja to stake his claim.

The Bulls captain didn’t so much as squeeze through the door as kick it down, scoring centuries in both innings.

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Now, Australia are faced with a tough call, and three options: Bring Head straight back in for Khawaja, keep the team as it was in Sydney, or have Marcus Harris make way and move Khawaja up the order.

“I’ll preface it by saying I’m not a selector, but when someone comes out and hits twin hundreds, it’s pretty hard to go past them for the week after,” captain Pat Cummins said after the match on Sunday.

“So we’ll work through that, the selectors will work through that the next few days.”

Head rewarded selectors’ faith in him with a sparkling 152 at the Gabba, before scores of 18 and 51 in Adelaide, and 27 at the MCG.

“I’ve been happy with the way I’ve played, I think I’ve read the conditions well and summed the conditions up and the situation of the game well,” he said.

“I’m under no illusion that the boys at the top of the order have done a fantastic job.”

The 28-year-old, who had been back training in the past couple of days, said he was asymptomatic and felt fine. He was also full of praise for his replacement.

“We’ll wait and see,” he said in regards to whether he expected to walk straight back into the team.

“I think he [Khawaja] played beautifully.

“I think that’s the beauty of the whole squad. We celebrate each other’s success, we love each other’s success. We’re currently 3-0 up, we’ve played a great week again.

“There’s going to be some tough decisions, those conversations haven’t been had,” Head said.

Having a surplus of hot bats is a good problem to have – and while Harris has struggled at times, Head was quick to point out his key role during the Boxing Day Test.

“He was fantastic in Melbourne, played a huge role in us winning a game, his attitude hasn’t changed.”

Head praised Harris’ energy and character among the group.

“He’s himself, and he hasn’t changed that – he’ll be disappointed he didn’t get runs in this game,” Head said.

“I felt like he lined it up well and played beautifully and set a really good platform, him and Davey as a partnership.”

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