Australian batter Travis Head has laughed off sledging from England during and since the thrilling Ashes opener at Edgbaston – and has sent a word of warning to Ollie Robinson.
Robinson is viewed in some quarters down under as the pantomime villain following his expletive-laden send-off to Usman Khawaja, with Australian greats Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting rounding on the Sussex seamer in the wake of the tourists’ two-wicket win.
It has not deterred Robinson, who – in a column for Wisden.com this week – expressed his surprise at how “defensive” Australia were, and claimed England’s opponents must change their style to come out on top during the five-match series.
England opener Zak Crawley, meanwhile, predicted on Times Radio recently that the hosts would win the upcoming second Test at Lord’s by 150 runs.
“We’re only going for the lunch, apparently,” Head told 9News Sydney. “Yeah, they have got this mantra they’re going at.
“Not just on the field but off the field they are throwing some nice chat out, but this team is truly just worried about what we need to do to win the second Test to go 2-0 up and put some pressure on them.”
Middle-order batter Head hit 50 at Edgbaston and put on 79 for the fourth wicket with Khawaja, who faced plenty of verbals from Robinson in Birmingham.
Robinson ended Khawaja’s marathon knock and claimed five wickets during the first Test, but Head insisted the England bowler will have to improve if he wants to retain his position in Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ team.
Head added: “I find it pretty fun. I had a few quiet words, jovial words, to him out there.
“It all makes for good fun and we’ll see where the next four Tests go.
“It didn’t go his way in the first one but he’s very competitive and he will want to step up. But if he doesn’t, I think they have got a few people at home that might want to get up his back.”
Head trained with his Australian team-mates at Lord’s on Sunday ahead of the second Test getting under way on Wednesday.
Fellow batters Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were also present, having spent their Saturdays at the Home of Cricket in the nets following their low scores at Edgbaston.
Labuschagne took a painful blow to a finger on his right hand during his Saturday net session, but was fine to carry on after being checked over by team doctor Leigh Golding.