PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 11: Will Pucovski and Joe Burns of Australia walk from the field at the tea break during the International Tour match between Australia A and Pakistan at Optus Stadium on November 11, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 11: Will Pucovski and Joe Burns of Australia walk from the field at the tea break during the International Tour match between Australia A and Pakistan at Optus Stadium on November 11, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Don’t waste it! Test candidates one shot at glory

NO stranger to batting under pressure, a relaxed Travis Head is confident of stepping up in his final chance to secure a Test recall.

Australia A's Test batting hopefuls will likely only get one bite at the cherry after Pakistan batted through the opening day of their three-day tour match in Perth.

A declaration is likely to come early on day two after Babar Azam (157no) and Asad Shafiq (119no) lifted the tourists to 3-336 at stumps in the day-night match.

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Head was Australia's vice-captain during the Ashes but that didn't spare him from being axed for the deciding fifth Test at The Oval.

The left-hander's century against a Josh Hazlewood-led NSW attack in the last Sheffield Shield round has put him in the box seat to edge out talented youngster Will Pucovski for the middle-order vacancy in Australia's Test side.

Head's ability to keep his cool in pressure situations was evident when he made his Test debut against Pakistan last year in Dubai, where a depleted Australia pulled off a miraculous draw while chasing a monster target of 462.

A crushing defeat had appeared inevitable when Australia crumbled to 3-87, losing all three of Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Mitch Marsh without adding a run.

We know Cameron Bancroft is a great close in fielder but can he deliver with the bat?
We know Cameron Bancroft is a great close in fielder but can he deliver with the bat?

But a calm and collected Head combined with Usman Khawaja in a pivotal fourth-wicket partnership to help save Australia from defeat.

"Different pressures, different times you have to bat under different circumstances, that's why you play the game," Head said.

"You want to do well on these sort of days and these sort of games.

"I'm pretty relaxed at the minute. I think everyone's done the work - we trained exceptionally well yesterday and all the batters got what they needed.

Babar Azam is going to provide formidable opposition for the Aussies.
Babar Azam is going to provide formidable opposition for the Aussies.

"The pressure of tomorrow is no different than the pressure of a Test match or the pressure of anytime you need to go out and get runs."

National coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns will sit down on Wednesday to pick their squad for the first Test, with Khawaja, Marcus Harris and Joe Burns competing to open the batting alongside David Warner.

News Corp Australia


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