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Match report: Head and Smith send Ashes warning in Test Championship batathon
Travis Head has announced himself as Australia’s most influential batsman and Steve Smith remains the most reliable just a week out from the Ashes.
Head scored his first overseas century during the opening day of the World Test Championship final against India at the Oval and Smith is not far away from his seventh hundred in England.
Stamping his authority in Australia over the past two summers with counter-punching hundreds, Head has now become a game changer in England, scoring an unbeaten 146 in just 156 deliveries as Australia went to stumps at 3-327 on Wednesday with Smith 95 not out. It would have been more had India managed better than 85 of their scheduled 90 overs.
After Australia were asked to bat on a green pitch under dull skies, Head came to the crease with his side teetering at 3-76. He added 251 with Smith, who played the unobtrusive anchor on a ground where he averaged almost a hundred going into the match.
Smith has already scored six centuries in England, but no one else in the Australian squad had managed one, until Head came to the party in emphatic style.
READ THE FULL MATCH REPORT FROM MALCOLM CONN HERE
Travis Head bats on day one at The Oval. Credit: Getty
How many first innings runs will Australia make?
Welcome back to the cricket
Evening cricket fans.
Welcome back to our live coverage of this enthralling World Test Championship final between Australia and India.
First ball today is at 7.30pm AEST, with Australia resuming day two at 3-327 thanks to a marvellous century from Travis Head yesterday and excellent support from Steve Smith (95 not out).
We’ll be here for every twist and turn. Get on board.
Steve Smith bats on day one at The Oval.Credit: Getty
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