Australian middle-order batsman Travis Head said being dropped for the opening test in India came as a surprise after “robust” conversations with the selectors, and he was ready to play anywhere in the line-up after being recalled.
The 29-year-old aggressive left-hander was left out of the team for the first test of the four-match series in Nagpur after struggling against spin on the tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
But the move came under fire from former players including Steve Waugh and Matthew Hayden.
“It was something that I didn’t expect coming here,” Head told reporters in New Delhi. “The conversations were robust. Everyone has different opinions. I respect the coaching staff and selectors and I have a strong relationship with them.
“I think that’s what made the conversations the way they went, because there’s respect that goes both ways and we were able to voice our opinions.
“I woke up the next morning and I’m still on tour playing for Australia, I still get to do what I love to do. I’d love to be competing and playing but there’s another way I can support the guys… I still feel like I’m in a great space.”
Head, who scored three half-centuries in Australia’s recent home series against South Africa and also impressed against the West Indies, was recalled for the second test in the Indian capital.
Australia went on to lose by six wickets to go 2-0 down in the series but Head scored 12 before top-scoring for his team with 43 in the second innings after being promoted to open the batting with David Warner substituted after suffering a concussion.
“It was a small sample piece, but over here small sample pieces can be a little bit of gold to hopefully push on for the next two tests,” Head said.
“After missing out in the first Test, I’d bat anywhere that the team needed me to get a game.”
The third test begins in Indore on March 1, with the final match in Ahmedabad. The two teams then face off in three one-day internationals beginning March 17.