Ton-up Head puts Australia on top against India in WTC final

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London: Travis Head's dashing century put Australia in a strong position against India on Wednesday's opening day of the World Test Championship final at the Oval.

Head came in with Australia struggling at 76-3 after India captain Rohit Sharma had won the toss in overcast conditions and on a green-tinged pitch that favoured a four-man pace attack.

But left-hander Head put the pressure back on the bowlers from the start of his innings, with 24 of his initial 27 runs coming in boundaries.

As the sun burst through the clouds, conditions for batting eased and Head cashed in against some wayward deliveries from an attack without Ravichandran Ashwin after India decided against selecting the off-spinner, the world's top-ranked Test bowler.

By the time India tested Head with the short ball, he was well set and a pulled single off Mohammed Shami took the 29-year-old to a sixth Test hundred in just 106 balls, including 13 fours and a ramped six against the paceman.

Australia were 233-3, with Head having added an unbroken 157 for the fourth wicket with star batsman Steve Smith, happy to play second fiddle on 53 not out.


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