Lotus365 Lotus365 News ICC World Cup 2023 – Travis Head optimistic of return against Netherlands but Australia cautious of rushing him in

ICC World Cup 2023 – Travis Head optimistic of return against Netherlands but Australia cautious of rushing him in

ICC World Cup 2023 – Travis Head optimistic of return against Netherlands but Australia cautious of rushing him in post thumbnail image

Travis Head ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/travis-head-530011) is optimistic he could return to play against Netherlands on Wednesday but Australia may err on the side of caution with his hand injury given he is still yet to have a full batting session against bowlers after only recently arriving in India.

Head has linked up with Australia’s squad in Delhi having watched Australia’s first four matches of the World Cup ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-24-1367856) from his couch in Adelaide while he recovered from the broken left hand he suffered just over five weeks ago on the tour of South Africa.

Australia’s selectors took a huge gamble by keeping Head in the 15-man squad despite the fact he was unavailable for the early part of the tournament with chair George Bailey ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/george-bailey-4451) stating on Saturday that Head would slot straight back ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-travis-head-will-open-straightaway-once-he-returns-says-george-bailey-1404588) in at the top of the order despite the sublime form of Mitchell Marsh.

Head revealed he has had four hits in the nets since getting his hand out of a splint. He began by hitting tennis balls only and progressed to facing the sidearm in the nets in Delhi on Saturday. He is optimistic about playing against the Netherlands on Wednesday but Saturday’s clash with New Zealand in Dharamsala looks a more likely return date.

“I had a really good hit yesterday,” Head said on Sunday in Delhi. “I think each session is getting better but again we’ve got to be mindful of the fact that I think it was five weeks [since the injury] a couple of days ago, and I sort of got told [around] that six-week mark.

“Everything keeps going well, but again, it’s [about] how I woke up this morning. It’s how I can potentially back up tomorrow and train.

“Still a few things I need to tick off but I’m optimistic. We’ll see what happens. If it continues on this rate, who knows. Keep doing things day-by-day to hopefully give yourself the best chance.”

Head said he was confident the bone had healed, and it was only a bit of pain and stiffness in the hand that he had to deal with. He also needs to regain strength and mobility in his left hand given it had been immobilised in a splint for four weeks although he does not think it will affect his power.

“I don’t hit massive sixes anyway, so maybe I’ll just keep them on the carpet a little bit more,” Head said.

He has been able to bowl during his time off but his bowling, whilst useful, is not critical to his return. Fielding is the other major query.

“I’ve been doing some catching but not at full tilt yet,” Head said. “So that’s another thing we need to tick off over the next few days. I’m optimistic. Obviously, it’s important to understand the process. Not trying to rush it too much because that can set us back. But it feels good. Catching hasn’t been an issue so far. The progression over the next couple of days is to field and see where I’m at.

“[I’ll] take it slow to make sure once I come back that I’m ready just to stay there.”

Head was very grateful to the selectors for keeping him in the squad. Having missed out on selection for the 2019 World Cup he thought his chances had evaporated again the moment Gerald Coetzee’s thunderbolt cracked his left hand ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sa-vs-aus-4th-odi-head-suffers-fracture-in-his-left-hand-with-world-cup-availability-to-be-determined-1398609) at Centurion in September.

“It was not something that I expected at the time,” Head said. “Obviously [there was] a range of emotions through those three or four days early on to think that I [had] missed a chance again to be involved. And I felt like I was contributing well.

“When I left [South Africa] and they put it on the table there was a lot of things that needed to go really well. Very fortunate the group stayed healthy as well because that was another scenario that might not have happened. So very happy the boys were fit and going well which meant they could keep me around, which is nice.

“But it’s also nice to have the confidence to potentially do the right things and now it’s a case of hopefully day-by-day getting better and hopefully I can contribute at the end and I guess pay a bit of the faith back.”

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