Travis Head winked off accusations of wastefulness to transform a beginner into a century prior to Australia’s bowlers rammed home their assistance over New Zealand on day two at the MCG. Head twisted his ninth score above 50 into his upcoming Test century to assist Australia to 467, prior to the Black Caps reached 44-2 at stumps.
Remembered paceman James Pattinson snared the prime scalp of Black Caps captain Kane Williamson, who was acquired post skying a pulled bullet on nine. Pat Cummins’ seven-over opening spell of 1-8 netted the wicket of modern opener Tom Blundell (15), who was also acquired behind by Tim Paine.
Australia v New Zealand: Boxing Day Test, day two – as it occurred
But the celebrity on day two was Head with his knock of 114. With his situation in the side in question moving into the Boxing Day Test, the South Australian’s innings was probably the most crucial of his career.
Lambasted by Ricky Ponting for being useless and decided to pull his ego returned when he allowed another huge score slip in the series opener in Perth, there were no signals of concentration lapses in Melbourne.
Patient through the way, Head spent 49 minutes and 42 balls in the 90s prior to he got up three figures by operating Tim Southee through a backward point just post-tea. The ton should go a long way to locking his position down long term, a post being axed for the end Test of the Ashes this year and being pressure mount this summer.
He travelled his feet nicely and cut with huge control throughout, as the inclusion of a 150-run stand with Paine for the sixth wicket that established Australia on top post-Steve Smith was returned out. Paine’s up-tempo 79 should also finish any questions over his limited-term future, as he got powerfully and drove with precision.