Travis Head is on a double mission this summer – to help Worcestershire “win as many games of cricket as possible” and to push his claims for a spot in the Australian Test team by being a consistent performer with the bat.
The Australian left hander is part of the squad at Blackfinch New Road in all formats right through to the middle of September – apart from Australia’s ODI Series against England in June.
Head has shown more consistency than most batsmen in the country in the seam-bowler friendly conditions which have launched the season with 174 runs at an average of 34.80 from the first three Championship matches and is currently the seventh highest run-scorer in Division One.
It continues on from a successful season Down Under on a personal note for Head when captaining South Australia in the Sheffield Shield with a return of 738 runs at 46.12 – the sixth best tally in the 2017-2018 competition.
He also skippered the Adelaide Strikers to the Big Bash title and is a regular member of the Australian white ball side with 34 ODIS and 10 T20Is under his belt.
But Head also wants to play the long format for his country – with an Ashes series on the horizon in 12 months time.
He said: “I’m looking to be as consistent as I can to my whole objective is to win games of cricket for Worcestershire.
“That’s what I want to do. It’s a lot more fun winning. If I can win as many games as possible, that’s what I’m here to do.
“Do I want to get into the Test team? From a personal point of view, the main objective is that and experiencing the conditions. I had done that briefly with Yorkshire with some success.
“With my red ball cricket I want to keep nailing that and trying to keep getting better and more experienced.
“I’m still a young cricketer and I’m still trying to develop my game. I’m in that white ball team at the moment with Australia so I’m just honing my skills and want to get as many runs as possible.
“That’s the currency at the minute. We’ve been told if you want to get picked (for Test cricket), you’ve got to get runs so hopefully I get a few and get some good momentum and good consistency throughout the year.
“Are there places up for grabs in the Test team? There are places up for grabs. There is a long way until that Test (Ashes) series. We haven’t got a lot of cricket over the winter this year and the majority is white ball cricket.
“I guess at the moment this is a great time for me to really develop my red ball cricket for six months and make sure I get my game in order there.”
Head scored two hundreds and four fifties in the Sheffield Shield although his own personal success was tempered with the disappointment of South Australia finishing bottom of the table.
He said: “It was probably the best winter for statistically. We probably didn’t have the team success we would have liked with red ball cricket (for South Australia).
“I guess being captain and leader of that team, I came out of the season back home a little bit disappointed.
“But personally it was a really good year and something I can build on hopefully.
“After Christmas, I started to get some momentum going in red ball cricket. I had some good knocks. I probably missed out on a couple of other occasions. Once you are in really good form, you have to try and make the most of it.”
Head says he can sense the same sort of team spirit in the Worcestershire squad as with South Australia.
He said: “We’ve got a great bunch of guys at South Australia, a real core group of guys who get on, and play a really exciting brand of cricket and we enjoy each other’s company.
“It is moulding into something and we’ve got that same mix here of really young guys with really good experience
“It’s a great vibe. When you are that experienced but with that energy of being young, it is good. You can express yourself.
“It’s a tight knit group and those are the key things you look for. When the hard days come, as a group you can push through them when you are closer together and hopefully have some success.”