Moments after dashing a billion hopes with the innings of his life in the World Cup final against India, Australia’s ton-up opener Travis Head on Sunday said he “never expected this in a million years”.
Head dominated the Indian bowlers on way to a match-winning 120-ball 137 to help Australia complete a chase of 241 with six wickets to spare for a record-extending sixth title in the tournament that started way back in 1975.
“Never expected this, not in a million years, truly an exceptional day. A lot better than sitting on the couch at home,” Head said after his heroics that silenced a packed crowd of over 1,30,000 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Australia recovered after losing three wickets for 47 runs in the sixth over thanks to the 192-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Head and Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out off 110 balls).
“Really glad to contribute, the first twenty balls I played gave me a lot of confidence and yea I was able to carry through. The way Mitch Marsh came out and took the game on, he set the tone. That was the energy we wanted and we knew the wicket may get tough,” Head said.
Australia’s decision to bowl after winning the toss was vindicated by its performance with the ball and on the field.
“It was a great decision to bowl first after winning the toss. I felt the wicket got better as the day went on. It took a little bit of spin, it paid dividends. Nice to be a part of it, nice to play a role in all of that,” Head said.
Regarding India skipper Rohit Sharma, who led his team to the final by playing some excellent cricket, Head said he is probably the most unlucky man in the world.
As far as his game is concerned, Head, who pulled off a stunner to send back the swashbuckling Rohit, said, “Again, it’s (fielding) something that I worked hard on. I couldn’t imagine getting a hundred, couldn’t probably imagine holding onto that one. It was great to hold on to that catch.
“Important to look after your team-mates, to be able to do that on the big stage in front of a full house is a nice thing.
On joining the list of centurions in World Cup finals after Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, Head said, “Definitely, third on that list, it’s a nice one to join, nice to be here and nice to contribute. I’ll just tell the boys that I’m looking forward to the reunion.” A teary-eyed Labuschagne termed this achievement unbelievable after Australia completed the job in 43 overs.
“What we’ve achieved today is unbelievable. It’s the best achievement I’ve ever been part of. India have been the team of the tournament, but you knew if you play your best cricket, you have a chance.
“Our bowlers were sensational and Travis put on one hell of a display. The way everything has happened is unbelievable. I’m lost for words. Two months ago, I wasn’t even in the one-day team in South Africa,” Labuschagne said.
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