Travis Head etched his name into the record books with a brilliant century, and Josh Hazlewood continued an incredible run of form as Australia dominated the West Indies on Thursday. But it was Mitchell Starc who produced the best TV of the day when he took a funny crack at commentator Isa Guha.
Starc had just come to the crease after the loss of Alex Carey, joining Head who was on 73 at the time. Coming back from a commercial break, the Fox Cricket commentary team did a quick interview with Head before the resumption of play using the 'spider cam'.
Unbeknownst to Guha, Starc was in close vicinity and could hear her appearing to question his batting ability. The commentator asked Head if his tactics would change following the loss of Carey, considering Starc and his fellow tail-enders were now at the crease.
Bit harsh on poor old Mitch! Isa: "Game situation might have changed a bit with Starc coming in, what's the plan?" Starc: "Pardon?!" pic.twitter.com/NqFAgmE2Nn
— Lui Zacher (@lui_zacher) January 18, 2024
Guha appeared to be suggesting Head would look to farm the strike so he could reach his century, rather than expose Starc and co. But Starc didn't take kindly to the suggestion and moved into the view of the camera before saying "pardon".
The fast bowler burst out into a big smile as Head and Guha laughed along, and the moment was clearly light-hearted. But Guha's suggestion appeared to be vindicated when Starc perished for 10 after a nasty short ball from debutant Shamar Joseph - who wound up with 5-94.
Travis Head makes rapid century at home at Adelaide Oval
Thankfully it didn't cost Head a shot at his hundred, with the South Australian going on to make a brilliant 119 off just 134 balls. Head's counter-attacking knock helped the Aussies make 283 on a tricky and lively pitch - giving them a first-innings lead of 95.
Hazlewood then took another four wickets to leave the Windies reeling at 6-73 and still behind by 22 runs at stumps. Hazlewood took 4-2 in a stunning opening spell, with his four wickets coming in the space of 27 balls.
Head had earlier become just the second South Australian to score multiple Test centuries at the Adelaide Oval after Ian Chappell. On a difficult batting pitch, Head, Usman Khawaja (45) and No.10 Nathan Lyon (24) were the only Australians to pass 15.
"It was pretty rough going, but that reflects the wicket," Head said. "But I am really happy with the way that I was able to fight through that ... I felt like I took my chances when I could."
His seventh career Test century came off the back of a bouncer barrage from the Windies quicks. But the 30-year took full advantage of the short stuff and smashed back-to-back sixes into the crowd.
"(It was my) first look at it in Australia where the ball is more consistent. It bounces a bit quicker," Head said. "I felt I made really good decisions around that. Swayed out of the way of a few, played a few. I feel like it got me in the innings a little bit. Got me going a little bit. I've been pretty keen and pretty eager to get into the game."
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