Cricket fans have been left perplexed after Travis Head was left out of the ICC's official team of the tournament despite his heroics in both the semi-final and final of the World Cup. Head became just the third Australian to score a century in a men's ODI World Cup final as his 137 helped Australia defeat hosts India to record their sixth title.
The South Australian was imperious from the outset as he took it to the Indian bowlers as Australia dominated a shellshocked India. Head only played seven games at this World Cup having returned from injury against New Zealand, but immediately scored a century.
After a few smaller totals, Head won player-of-the-match for a vital 62 in the run chase against South Africa in the semi-final. And he finished the tournament with the highest-ever score for a batter in the second innings of a World Cup final.
But despite his heroics for Australia, Head has been left out of the International Cricket Council's official team of the tournament. Indian captain Rohit Sharma and South Africa's Quinton de Kock are the opening batters, with Virat Kohli coming in at first drop.
Sharma was formidable throughout the tournament having finished second on the run-scoring charts with 597. He also captained India to the final undefeated, before losing to Australia. Kohli topped the list having scored 765 runs at an average of 95.62.
De Kock smashed four centuries in the group stages and became the first wicket-keeper to score 500 runs and take 20 dismissals at a World Cup. He averaged 59.40 after 10 innings. In comparison, Head only played six matches and scored 329 runs at an average of 54.83.
And while it is hard to argue the exclusion of Sharma or de Kock from the list, fans were left flabbergasted Head wasn't included for his performances when it mattered in the semi-final and final. Despite Australia winning the World Cup, only Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa made the list.
David Warner's lack of runs in the semi-final and final probably saw him drop out of contention to open the batting. Fans called out the decision in the wake of Head's swashbuckling century to lead Australia to one of their greatest ever triumph's in India.
10 teams competed in the #ICCCricketWorldCup2023 to win the ‘Championship’. Therefore any team without Travis Head who was Man of the Match in both of the knockout matches Australia played (Final against India, Semi against South Africa), and also the WC winning Captain Pat… https://t.co/cwLyQFOhN3
— Bobby Sidhu (@gbobbysidhu) November 20, 2023
Travis Head so underrated he's not even in the team of the tournament https://t.co/Q3xMfwAoRC
— Simon Gould (@SimonDGould) November 20, 2023
Travis Head says hello…
— Thermal Mass (@ThermalMass) November 20, 2023
— shinta (@shdPrPdir) November 20, 2023
ICC team of the tournament has 6 Indian players, including Rohit and Kohli 😊
Travis Head, in spite of being the Australian backbone this World Cup isn’t there 🇦🇺
India had all the right composition this time 🇮🇳 but the luck 🏻#INDvsAUSfinal pic.twitter.com/43eXvXQm0G
— TNA Cricket (@tnacricket) November 20, 2023
BCCI team of the tournament. Wtf? Where is Travis Head?!!!! pic.twitter.com/KL3Poxl6me
— The Wanderer (@Ahmeds4ys) November 20, 2023
Indian crowd called out over Travis Head treatment
Head's heroics for Australia came as such a shock to the Narendra Modi Stadium that his century was applauded in a subdued manner in the final. The raucous crowd throughout the first half of the World Cup final cheered every run for the home team.
The left-hander was imperious in his counter-attacking knock that silenced the crowd for the first time. Reporter Bharat Sundaresan pointed out that only a handful of people applauded Head when he reached 50. And after a hesitant single on 99, Head brought up a World Cup final century. Unfortunately, the boisterous crowd fell silent as the run-out opportunity was missed and Head cemented his name in history.
And the 29-year-old raised his bat to a subdued applause from a stunned crowd, which prompted backlash from cricket fans. Commentator Mark Howard noticed the eery atmosphere after the historic achievement. "The crowd again are silent," he said as Head celebrated the incredible feat.
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