Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
Head looks to white ball for Test return
South Australia's captain insists he's out of runs, not out of form, and hopes Wednesday's return to 50-over cricket proves liberating
AAP & Cricket Network
22 October 2019, 09:43 AM AEST
While he may appear to be battling with the red ball, Travis Head is confident a switch to domestic one-day cricket can spark a run surge that will reclaim his Test spot.
On paper Head looked like he was struggling after a 25-ball duck and second dig of just 12 in South Australia's four-wicket Marsh Sheffield Shield loss to Queensland at the Gabba.
It wasn't a good look as he tries to break back into Australia's Test side for the Domain series against Pakistan starting in Brisbane on November 21.
However, Head on Monday claimed he was in top form but just didn't have the runs to show for it.
But the busy left-hander believed that could all change when the Redbacks switch their focus to the Marsh One-Day Cup against the second-placed Bulls at the Gabba on Wednesday.
"I think one day cricket in the middle of summer is a good thing, sometimes it can give you a little bit of freedom," said Head, who will an SA side four points behind Queensland on the Marsh Cup standings.
"I can go out and hit the ball, I can go out and play with a bit of freedom.
"At the moment I probably have not given myself the best opportunity but I feel like runs aren't too far away."
Head may appear behind the eight ball as he tries to reclaim his spot after being dropped before the fifth Ashes Test.
But asked if he felt top six Test spots were still up for grabs, Head said: "I hope so, if I get enough runs.
"Cricket can sometimes be a cruel game.
"Sometimes you can get a lot of runs and feel like you are not batting well, sometimes you can bat well and not get runs.
"I would love to be there (first Test) obviously but I will keep doing what I am doing.
"If I spend a bit of time out in a one day game and follow it up with a (good) Shield game I can go back to playing really good cricket."
While ruing his lack of runs against Queensland, Head was more frustrated by "missing out" in his 184-ball 51 in the Shield clash with Victoria, on a Junction Oval wicket where two double tons and four centuries were scored and only 12 wickets fell.
"I feel like I missed more of an opportunity last week but I feel I am batting really well, just need a few more runs," he said.
"It (being out of Test side) is not ideal but it is not something I am worried about.
"I am worried about getting runs for South Australia and trying to win games."
Test No.3 Marnus Labuschagne warmed up for the Pakistan series with an unbeaten 72 - his third half century in four digs - to steer the Bulls to victory.
The Ashes breakout star conceded that although he holds ambitions of representing Australia in limited-overs cricket, continuing Queensland's strong start to the 50-over competition will be his priority on Wednesday.
"I absolutely want to be playing white-ball cricket for Australia but you know my job is not to think too far ahead for white ball selection," said Labuschagne, who has helped the Bulls win three of their first four Marsh Cup games so far.
"It's just making sure it doesn't matter what game, whether it's for Redlands, for Queensland, for Glamorgan or for Australia it's just you're scoring runs and trying to win games for your team.
"That'll be what's on my mind on Wednesday, making sure that we walk away from playing SA with two wins and not one."
The Bulls have recalled Xavier Bartlett for the clash, replacing fellow quick Mark Steketee after he suffered a hamstring injury.
Queensland squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, James Peirson, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Jack Wildermuth
South Australia squad: Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Tom Andrews, Alex Carey, Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Jake Lehmann, Kane Richardson, Luke Robins, Alex Ross, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Adam Zampa.