Welcome to day two!
Some innings are bigger than others. For Travis Head, this really is one of those hits. Despite his impressive 2019 numbers, it’s clear the South Australian sits lowest on the Australian top six pecking order. A big ton on this big stage could change that in a real hurry. Getting a start during a tough period last night, now’s the moment for him to come back to the MCG – on what will most likely be the best day to bat during the contest – and fill his boots alongside Steve Smith.
For the former captain, he has 23 runs to collect in order to clock his fifth Boxing Day Test ton. He spent the majority of day one in the middle, facing 192 balls along the way. So far, it has been a long way from his most fluent hand in the green helmet but that means nothing to a machine like Smith. Indeed, it is the least pretty tons that he values highest – take his gems at Pune and Brisbane in 2017.
As for the visitors, they get a window this morning with a second new ball that’s still relatively hard. But it won’t be open for long. The pitch, which had so much in it on the opening morning, was really flattening out by the close yesterday. They need to be well into Australia’s lower order by drinks this morning. Don’t doubt for a moment them coming out hard with a predominantly short-pitched barrage.
Thanks for joining our day two coverage. Along with JP Howcroft, we’re looking forward to your company throughout. You know the drill: drop me a line. To begin, did we all see this new report? A fair bit going on here. Interesting.