Australia batter Travis Head believes consistency at Sheffield Shield level over the last few seasons was the main reason he was selected for the Test squad to take on Pakistan in the UAE next month.
The South Australian has scored more than 600 runs in each of the last three Shield seasons and was rewarded for his efforts when national selectors included him in the 15-man squad to play Pakistan.
Head won selection ahead of fellow middle order batters Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb and the 24-year-old is ready to show selectors they made the right decision should he be chosen to make his Test debut during the tour.
"Over the last three or four years in Shield cricket I’ve been able to put a few consistent seasons together on the board which is nice," Head said in Adelaide on Friday.
"I think over the process of a few years I have come a bit more relaxed and especially over the last six months I have worked extremely hard on my game and the technical side of my game.
"I have spoken about my forward defence and that comes with more maturity.
"I just got a bit older and a bit (more) relaxed, so I am ready to go."
If Head is to make his Test debut in the UAE he may have to win a place in the final XI ahead of fellow uncapped batters Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch.
And the left-hander hopes his ability to bowl a bit of part-time off-spin will work in his favour when the final team is named.
"It's something that I have worked hard on, although I didn’t get the results in India (with Australia A) that I would have liked,” Head said about his spin bowling.
"I don't think it really reflected how well I was bowling at training, so hopefully I get a bit of an opportunity."
And despite plenty of leadership experience as captain of South Australia and the Adelaide Strikers at domestic level and more recently with Australia A, Head is not perturbed about the vacant vice-captain position in the Australia side.
"There is a lot of talk about that (vice-captain) role, but (I hope) I can help the team in any way, whether that be with leadership or with my batting, bowling, fielding, training, standards or values," he said.
"Everyone in that team is a leader. It is a great bunch of individuals and a great bunch of guys that work extremely hard at their craft and what they do.
"It's not going to take just "Painey" (captain Tim Paine) and just "JL" (coach Justin Langer).
"It's going to take a collective group over the series and over a period of time to get to where we want to get to."
Qantas Tour of the UAE
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc
Sep 29 - Oct 2: Tour match v Pak A, Dubai
Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai
Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi