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Head hunting an ODI opener's role

South Australia has his eye on a permanent spot next to David Warner after his Australia Day century at Adelaide Oval

Travis Head wasn’t about to hide his reaction when he bumped into skipper Steve Smith at the Australia team’s Adelaide hotel on match eve and learned he was to open the batting next day.

On his home Adelaide Oval pitch that he knows so well, in forecast perfect conditions and in good form with the bat even though he had been frustratingly unable to nail a really big score in the ODI arena.

"I was very, very excited," Head revealed tonight after scoring his maiden international century and pairing with David Warner to rewrite records for Australian openers in the 50-over game.

Quick wrap: Starc, Warner seal 4-1 series win

The left-hander had been afforded the opportunity to open with Warner earlier in the VB ODI Series against Pakistan, which Australia secured 4-1 with a comfortable 57-run win in Adelaide this evening.

But in that series opener at the Gabba, Head was dismissed for 39 from as many balls faced and was feared he had squandered to grasp a gilded opportunity when Usman Khawaja then returned to partner Warner at the top.

Quick single: Warner, Starc seal 4-1 series win

And Head returned to the middle-order where he regularly finds himself entering the game with too few overs in which to post a really big score, or with the team in trouble and some rebuilding needed.

So when Smith advised him that Khawaja was to be rested from tonight’s game and that the opening berth was his once again, Head knew that he could not risk squandering the gift second time around.

Warner blasts career-best 179

Not only did he provide the ideal foil for the rampant Warner (179) in their record-breaking opening stand of 284, he pushed on to a career-high 128 to the acclaim of his supportive home crowd.

And has now submitted his claim for the opening berth that has been tightly held by Aaron Finch (omitted for this campaign) and not quite secured by Khawaja ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy tournament to be played in the UK later in the year.

Quick single: Warner, Head smash partnership records

Head will also face competition for the coveted role from Shaun Marsh, who has opened with Warner in the past, as well as from Finch with all three batters heading to New Zealand for the three-match Chappell-Hadlee Trophy Series that starts next week.

However, he doesn’t shy away from the admission that he would dearly love to remain at the top of the order, especially in light of the efforts he and Warner combined to produce today.

Starc takes 'catch of the summer'

"As a batter I would love to bat as high as I possibly can, if there’s that opportunity as there was in this series,” Head said in the wake of Australia’s victory built on the back of their record Adelaide total of 7-369.

"I got the opportunity at the Gabba and felt like I was in good form, but I wasn’t able to get a massive score.

"I was very disappointed after that, then going back down the order, that I wasn’t able to capitalise.

"So it was nice to get out there today, get first crack at it and get runs.

"But I’m happy to do the job wherever is needed in the side.

"I’m happy to go game by game and just be in the side.

"The preparation for the Champions Trophy, I think we’re playing the right brand at the end of this series.

"So wherever I fit, it’s fantastic.

"I felt like I’ve been in good form in the series but I just haven’t been able to get a big score, and it’s probably been like that since I debuted (last year).

"It’s nice and satisfying to get runs, but the head moves quickly to New Zealand and try and back up the good form and keep the ball rolling."

Scintillating Starc snares four in Adelaide

Head also admitted that batting with Warner in his current form and mood – he posted his ninth ODI century in just over a year today and set a new personal best in the 50-over format – made the job of opening the batting much more straightforward.

Head reached his half-century from the same number of deliveries (78) that it took for his opening partner to post a century.

And he revealed that even though Warner, who was suffering from a throat infection and severe head cold coming into the game, was hobbled by cramp and fatigue towards the end of his innings he gave no indication that he wanted to stop batting.

"He (Warner) told me he was going for 200, so I don’t think his mind was set on coming off," Head said tonight.

"He was pretty fatigued, we did a fair bit of running.

"But I don’t think that hindered in any way, he just got on with the job.

"He was struggling a little bit but he was definitely focused on getting a few more runs.

"It’s easy at the other end – he makes it easy for me.

"He does it consistently backing up massive scores and it’s another match winning effort from him."