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INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2017

Head spinning amidst RCB change-ups

20 April 2017

Travis Head made a quick-fire 30 last start but could be benched again for RCB come Sunday // Getty

In-form Aussie could be set for another spell on the sideline, with Bangalore boasting a surplus of international stars

Australia ODI batsman Travis Head could find himself the victim of Royal Challengers Bangalore's extraordinary overseas depth when they next line up in the Indian Premier League against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

Batting at No.3, Head made 30 not out from just 16 balls in RCB's last start against Gujarat, coming to the crease in the 13th over and helping propel his side to a winning total of 2-213.

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It was the left-hander's second start of IPL10, after he made 30 from 22 balls in Bangalore's season opener against Hyderabad.

Yet despite Head's impressive performance on Tuesday, RCB coach Daniel Vettori said the likely return from injury of South Africa superstar AB de Villiers created a selection dilemma.

"When we went to the auction process we wanted to increase our bench strength," Vettori said. "Fortunately we don’t play till the 23rd, that allows us bit of recovery time.

"We are hopeful that AB is fit for that, hopeful that Samuel (Badree) is fit for that, hopeful that Tymal (Mills) is fit for that.

Quick Single: Gayle will 'hang his hat' on T20 record

"So they do have an extended period of time before we play again.

"I'm reasonably confident they will be available to play.

"But it’s good Chris (Gayle) and Travis stood up today.

"So we have more selection dilemmas."

Gayle returned to the starting side with a typically destructive 77 from just 38 balls, laced with seven sixes, as he became the first man to 10,000 T20 runs.

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Already this season the West Indian has been jostling for top-order spots with de Villiers and Australian allrounder Shane Watson, while the return to action of captain Virat Kohli and the strong form of Kedar Jadhav means Vettori is spoilt for choice.

Head played three matches for RCB last year, with a top score of 37, but between IPL seasons the 23-year-old has established himself as a regular in Australia's ODI middle-order, notching a maiden hundred during an impressive home summer in green and gold.

Head posts maiden ODI century on home turf

On Thursday, he was picked in Australia's squad for the Champions Trophy and has been utilised for his off-spin ahead of teammate Glenn Maxwell.

However, with just four overseas places available in RCB's XI and bowlers Mills, Badree, Adam Milne and Billy Stanlake also pushing for a start, Vettori has been routinely forced to make difficult decisions.

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"The good thing about international cricketers is that they probably talk to themselves more than any captain or coach talking to them about their performances," the coach added.  

"They take pride in their performances, they really want to contribute to the team."

Despite their considerable depth, last year's runners-up Bangalore currently sit sixth on the ladder, with just two wins from six matches.

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