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Head closes in on Test debut

03 October 2018

Adelaide Strikers captain Travis Head

Australia coach Justin Langer has all-but confirmed Adelaide Strikers captain Travis Head will make his Test debut in the upcoming clash with Pakistan in Dubai beginning on Sunday.

Head, 24, has played 55 limited overs matches for Australia but appears set to don the Baggy Green for the first time this weekend.

Left-hand batsman Head impressed during Australia A’s tour of India and scored 90* in Australia’s drawn tour match against Pakistan A in preparation for the two-Test series.

Langer said Head and uncapped Victorian Aaron Finch were ready to represent their country in the Test arena.

"There was never any doubt over those two for me, I thought they were certainties to play," Langer said.

"Travis Head – his improvement over the last … six months is absolutely amazing. He's starting to look like an AFL footy player, he's really fit. The way he's adapted his game and improved his game, particularly against spin.

"He played brilliantly in the Australia A stuff, he's really impressive and he deserves to have a Baggy Green cap."

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Head is expected to strengthen Australia’s middle order while Finch is likely to open the batting.

Striker Michael Neser could also make his Test debut, although the allrounder appears to be vying with Strikers teammate Peter Siddle for a spot in the final side.

Neser made his international debut in June in the ODI series against England while Siddle is hunting his first Test for Australia in almost two years.

"(Neser) impressed us, he always does. He has a red-hot dip every time he plays, he's a good fielder, he's brilliant around the team," Langer said.

"We weigh up 211 Test wickets and a guy (Siddle) who's bowling really well, a real professional. He's been a veteran. The role he'd play with his experience, we (selectors) have got to talk really seriously about that."

Australia’s opening Test against Pakistan begins on 7 October in Dubai.