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Australia's Broad-map: Done our homework on the around-the-wicket line, says Travis Head

"If we can put the bowlers out there for an extended period of time, [we can] put them under pressure"

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Travis Head fell three times to Stuart Broad in the 2019 series  •  Getty Images

Travis Head fell three times to Stuart Broad in the 2019 series  •  Getty Images

Australia's left-handed batters will be on notice with the expected return of Stuart Broad's around-the-wicket skills in Adelaide after he tormented them with that line of attack in the 2019 Ashes. While it was Broad's contest with David Warner - dismissing him seven times in the series - that took the headlines, he was a threat to all Australia's left-handers and the majority of them are around for this series too.
Marcus Harris goes into the second Test needing a substantial score to repay the selectors' faith; he was removed by Broad three times in 2019. Travis Head also fell three times to him, but he will enter Adelaide on the back of the best innings of his career after flaying 152 in Brisbane.
Broad did not feature in the first Test as he was held back along with James Anderson, and it was surprising that England did not use the around-the-wicket line more, especially to Warner, who faced just 43 deliveries of his 176-ball stay in the first innings from that angle.
The split for Head was much more even, but Harris faced just one ball from around the wicket during his brief time at the crease. If Broad does line-up with the pink ball over the coming days it's something Head feels ready for.
"Not just on [facing] Broady, but generally batting [from] around the wicket - we looked at some stuff; personally I've worked really hard on around the wicket, we got found out a bit in England, personally, and maybe as a team," Head said. "Over the last six months, I've gone away and worked really hard at that, how I line the ball up and where I try to play it.
"You do your homework on Broady - he's a fantastic bowler, he'll be challenging here with the pink ball, but you've got other blokes who are similar."
Broad's 37 Test wickets in Australia over the years have cost 37.17 and in day-night Tests, he has taken 10 at 27.30 in comparison to Anderson's 14 at 19.28.
"Haven't played [against Anderson]… Broad was tough in the Ashes, he was fantastic against the left-handers and probably got the upper hand," Head said. "The conditions here, we are used to them, and if we can put the bowlers out there for an extended period of time, [we can] put them under pressure.
"No doubt he [Broad] will be coming in excited about the Test and the pink ball. It does give the opportunity to swing it and he has had success against left-handers so he'll be confident. But we've come off a fantastic Test and everyone in this team is in fantastic form, so it's exciting."
Head, meanwhile, is back on home turf after his thrilling display at the Gabba where he crushed any hopes England had of keeping Australia's lead manageable on the second day, when he raced to a century made entirely in the final session. He is well aware that most days will not be like that - and he said he only really took the decision to flick the switch in Brisbane after reaching his half-century - although the counter-attacking role in the middle-order can be one that changes Tests.
"If the opportunities present itself, I'm going to try and take it, if it doesn't then I feel like my technique is in a great space to go the opposite way," he said. "It's one innings, hopefully one innings that can kick start a nice little journey in the Ashes. It can hopefully show people I have got the talent to do it. I don't want to be someone who doesn't contribute over the next four Tests."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo