Wed, 27 Sep 2023

London [UK], June 8 (ANI): After the left-hander moved the momentum of the ICC World Test Championship Final towards his side with a magnificent century on the opening day in London, Australian great Ricky Ponting is at ease comparing Travis Head to the modern-day Adam Gilchrist in Australia's XI.

On an action-packed day at The Oval when Australia dominated, Head delivered his first Test century in England and the sixth of his career with a magnificent unbeaten 146 from just 156 deliveries.

A compelling 251-run unbroken partnership between Travis Head (146 not out) and Steve Smith (95 not out) was the highlight of the first day of the World Test Championship Final 2023, as Australia finished at a strong 327 for three at the end of the day's play.

With his team in trouble at 76/3, the brash No. 5 came to the crease, but he produced a blow that made Ponting think of his former teammate Gilchrist.

"He probably is (similar to Gilchrist). In fact he is probably scoring quicker now than Gilly probably ever did. His strike rate through this (World Test Championship) qualification period is 81, which is higher than anyone else in the world to have scored more than 500 runs," Ponting told the ICC.

"His confidence is growing by the game, his strike rate keeps going up, he hits boundaries early on in his innings which puts pressure back on the bowlers which is what you want from your middle order players, and his last two years have been quite remarkable," he added.

During his great Test career, Gilchrist had a strike rate of 81.95, and Head is on a similar trajectory after scoring at a similar rate during Australia's World Test Championship campaign.

As Head flayed the India attack to every part of the renowned south London venue on Wednesday, he had similar tendencies to Gilchrist, who was famed for attacking as soon as he went to the crease.

Early in his knock, Head was brutal on anything over-pitched, dealing primarily in boundaries to rapidly shift the tide in Australia's favour after India's quicks made a respectable start to the match.

Ponting thinks that India's pacers should have been patient and tried to stop Head from scoring so freely instead of committing a length error early on against Head.

"I think when he first comes in you need to execute perfectly to him. It is no good trying to over attack him because if you bowl any bad ball, he is going to put it away. They will learn by the way they bowled to him in this first innings, and they will definitely adjust in this second innings, but sometimes it is too late," Ponting said. (ANI)

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