Head locks down Aussie ODI opening role

A struggling Travis Head has revealed he was "touch and go" for Australia's ODI against England but managed to play through discomfort and strike a career-best 152.

The gifted South Australian all but sealed his spot as David Warner's opening partner for next year's 50-over World Cup with another tremendous innings.

Head belted England's tired attack to all parts of the MCG to reach his third ODI century on Tuesday, putting on a 269-run opening stand with Warner.

The 28-year-old revealed he had been dealing with back spasms before the match.

"It was touch and go," Head said about his place in the team.

"It wasn't ideal, I had back spasms when I got here to the ground.

"The rain didn't help because I had to warm-up indoors.

"I was lucky we got here two hours before the game so it sorted itself out and eased down."

After smashing his third ODI century, Head remained off the field for England's entire chase of 364.

"It had been a long day with the lead-up not being great. It was a grim couple of hours," Head said.

Once the illness fades, Head will be able to reflect more fondly on a day out for himself and Warner.

The pair, who only reunited at the top of the order for this series after Aaron Finch's ODI retirement last month, fell 15 runs short of breaking their own record for Australia's highest ODI partnership.

Warner and Head put on 284 together as Australia smashed Pakistan at Adelaide Oval in January 2017.

But after that epic high almost six years ago, Head's white-ball form dropped off and he missed out on playing in the 2019 ODI World Cup.

The left-hander wants to ensure he retains his spot for the pinnacle of ODI cricket in India next October.

"Missing that (2019 World Cup) was tough because I felt like I was going well and things just didn't fall my way.

"I've (gone) away and played three good years of domestic cricket to get my chance again.

"It's started well but you can't hang your hat on it, (I've) got to stay relaxed and calm and back my ability.

"I've played enough cricket now to know what the expectations are for Australia; I still hold a lot of pride in what I'm doing but I'm a lot more relaxed about things."

In just 13 innings, Warner and Head have scored 1106 runs in ODI partnerships at an average of 85.07.