South Australian Travis Head performed against all odds and silenced his critics with a stunning century on Day 2 of the ongoing first Ashes Test against England at the Gabba.
Head, whose inclusion in the final XI over Usman Khawaja was questioned by many former Aussie greats, cashed in the opportunity by smashing the third quickest hundred in the history of Ashes. Head got to the three-figure mark off just 85 deliveries.
Fastest Ashes hundreds (by balls):
Adam Gilchrist – 57 balls, Perth 2006
Gilbert Jessop – 76 balls, The Oval 1902
Travis Head* – 85 balls, Brisbane, 2021
Ian Botham – 86 balls, Manchester 1981
Ian Botham – 87 balls, Leeds 1981
Head added a crucial stand of 70 runs with captain Pat Cummins for the seventh wicket to keep the hosts ahead after the comeback by English bowlers in the middle of the day. Australia lost Cummins, which was also the last wicket to fall on Day 2 as the hosts reached 343/7 at stumps with Head (112 no) and Mitchell Starc (10 no) at the crease, leading England by 196 runs.
Earlier, Australia started the second day with the loss of opener Marcus Harris (3) in the sixth over of their first innings. Then, David Warner (94) and Marnus Labuschagne (74) paired up to put the hosts in a strong position. The duo went on to add 155 runs for the second wicket before Labushchagne was caught at backwards point in the 48th over bowled by Jack Leech.
Steve Smith was removed by Mark Wood for just 12, while Warner, who was all set to reach the triple-figure mark, was undone by Ollie Robinson‘s slower delivery right after the tea. The England seamer then cleaned up Cameron Green for a golden duck to provide a double strike. Debutant Alex Carey could only score 12 before a pull shot off Chris Woakes ended his innings.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Take a bow Travis Head, take a bow!!!outstanding
— Aaron Finch (@AaronFinch5) December 9, 2021
That’s a very special Innings from Travis Head .. An #Ashes Ton we will remember for a long time ..
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 9, 2021
A very popular century from a popular centurion. @travishead34 has had the Australian dressing-room, Marnus Labuschagne & Steve Smith in particular, on their feet for the last two hours & they erupted in unison as he raised his bat at the Gabba #Ashes pic.twitter.com/1nkUKwcKTT
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 9, 2021
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 9, 2021
Among Australians, only Gilchrist (3x), Warner (3x), Gregory & Hayden have scored quicker Test hundreds than that 85-ball effort from Head #Ashes
— Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) December 9, 2021
A long and challenging day for the lads in the field.
Australia lead by 195 runs at stumps.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 9, 2021
An #Ashes hundred at the Gabba and what it means 🔥
— ICC (@ICC) December 9, 2021
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) December 9, 2021