Travis Head came to India on a back of a successful home summer in which he amassed 525 runs at an average of 87.50. His knocks involved four half-centuries and a century but in a surprising move, the management decided to go with Matt Renshaw ahead of Head for the first Test against India in Nagpur.
The move didn’t pay dividends as Renshaw was dismissed for a golden duck and then Head made a comeback in the second Test, and with David Warner out with concussion, he opened in the second innings of the Delhi Test and batted with composure. On being asked if the drop in the first Test hurt him, Head revealed that while it was difficult for him to grasp, he had a “robust” conversation with the selectors which eased the concerns.
"The conversations were robust, I guess, and everyone has different opinions," Head said. "But I respect the coaching staff and selectors. I have a really strong relationship with them so think that's what made the conversations the way they went because there's respect both ways and we are able to voice our opinions.
"It's something I didn't expect coming here, but sometimes that happens and thought I was able to go through that week and prepare myself for another chance… Now it's making the most of that."
His 43 in the second innings of the Delhi Test put Australia ahead in the game but on the third morning, things came crashing down with Ravichandran Ashwin weaving his magic. Head stated that he found solace in the way he was going forward and backward on the length, which he attributed to the learning from watching other batters in the subcontinent.
"I was pleased with the way I was going forward and back, watching length, and a few things I've worked on," Head said of his innings. "It was a small sample piece but over here small sample pieces can be a little bit of gold to hopefully push forward for the next two Tests.
"Felt like the way I played the other day was a step forward in that direction. Would have loved to have done it in the previous series, but that's development, that's understanding, that's watching other teams go about it and other players and trying to learn on the go with not much experience in the subcontinent.
"[In] Sri Lanka, especially, when it was more spin-friendly than Pakistan, I found myself sitting on the crease a little bit and probably looking more to defend and waiting to attack, whereas here I've come with the approach that I want to attack first and defend second. When I do that, and I've found it in Australia, my feet move better and I'm in better positions."