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Men’s ODI WC: Simon O’Donnell predicts Travis Head to be Australia captain after superb century in final

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | November 21, 2023 07:23 AM

NEW DELHI: Former Australia cricketer Simon O’Donnell believes left-handed opener Travis Head will captain Australia one day following his superb 137 in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup final against India. At the same time, he believes Head can be the skipper once Pat Cummins’ time as captain is over.

At the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday, Head notched up a sublime 120-ball 137, including hitting 15 boundaries and four sixes, for Australia to chase down 241 in 43 overs and claim their sixth World Cup title.

Head also became just the fourth cricketer in history of the World Cup to win Player of the Match awards in both semi-final and final, having previously won the award in the last-four clash against South Africa at Kolkata. He had also slammed a rapid 163 off 174 balls in the first innings against India to give Australia their first World Test Championship title at The Oval, London, in June this year.

“I think we’re looking at the next Australian captain in Travis Head. That won’t be too far down the track. He’ll probably have to give one of them (formats) away to be the Australian captain, I would think he’ll give T20 away at that stage. It’s a few years down the track. Pat Cummins basically signed the document last night. For as long as he’s fit and playing, he’ll be captain of Australia,” said O’Donnell to SEN Radio.

In the field, Head was hugely impactful in dismissing India skipper Rohit Sharma. He ran back from the cover region to complete a sensational back-pedalling catch. “It was no surprise he took that catch that got rid of Sharma and then made the hundred he did. He’s just a big game player.”

“Travis Head is just a superstar, an absolute superstar, and it doesn’t matter what form. I think he’s a Test match superstar, I think he’s a 50-over superstar, and I think he’s a T20 superstar,” added O’Donnell.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins had revealed how a plan to get Head recover quickly from a fractured hand, resulting in him missing initial stage of the tournament, worked well to perfection, resulting in the formidable opener shining yet again in a global finale.

“We thought his World Cup was straight over. It wasn’t until I think it was about the next night afterwards where Ronnie (McDonald) came up to me. He’s like, ‘I haven’t slept all last night. I think we’re going to keep him. We’re going to take the risk. He might be right for the Netherlands and then if we’re going to make the finals and we want to win the World Cup I think he needs to be there for the finals’.”

“It’s his idea and again great work by the medical team and it means you probably don’t have the second spinner in your squad, which is a risk, but obviously paid off. I think we could have been made to look really silly if that didn’t pay off, but you’ve got to take those risks to win a tournament.”

“And Trav, the player we’ve seen in Test cricket, he epitomised everything I want out of a cricket team. He takes the game on, he plays with a smile, he just puts the pressure right back onto the opposition and he’s just great fun to be around. I couldn’t be happier for Trav.”


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