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Head won't be distracted by ODI World Cup lure

The left-hander narrowly missed the 2019 edition and is purely focused on a good series against England

Travis Head and Alex Carey prepare for the opening game on their homeground  •  Getty Images

Travis Head and Alex Carey prepare for the opening game on their homeground  •  Getty Images

Travis Head has vowed not to let himself become distracted by a World Cup berth as he prepares to take over from Aaron Finch at the top of Australia's ODI order.
Head will open in Thursday's one-dayer against England in Adelaide, set to partner with David Warner for the first time since Finch's retirement in September.
The match marks the first of up to 17 for Australia between now next year's tournament, with the opening spot and fast-bowling attack among several big questions for selectors.
Head has clearly emerged as the front-runner through his selection for the series against England, after making scores of 101 and 89 opening in Pakistan earlier this year. But he also knows how quick a World Cup spot can be taken away from him.
He played 42 games for his country between the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, before being dropped just six months out from the 2019 tournament.
"So now 12 months out from one to get my chance to be in the team is an exciting opportunity," Head told reporters in Adelaide. "But it's trying to not put too much pressure on myself to do something different. I have had some really good success at the top. So I don't want to change that and my mindset around that.
"I have played a lot of one-day cricket to know what is expected of me and what is expected to go out and perform. You can't look too far ahead, there is a lot of cricket to come. I just want to start really well on Thursday and play my role as best as I can."
In replacing Finch, Head looks to fill the boots of one of the most prolific opening stands in world cricket in the past 10 years, with Warner and Finch averaging 47.94 together. The pair have also gone at a run-rate of 5.77 together, winning the 2015 World Cup and starring in 2019.
Head is also ready to take the bowling on early, but with some caveats. The left-hander strikes at 93.72 in 50-over cricket for Australia, but that figure goes up to 104.9 when opening the batting and making use of the powerplay. He has previously had success with Warner, the pair adding an Australia-record 284 against Pakistan in Adelaide in 2017.
"There is the opportunity to put pressure on in the first 10 overs...and I think that is when I play my best as well," Head said. "But you have to respect the new ball, it's still going to swing.
"I'm lucky I have someone really good [in Warner] at the other end, we feed off each other when we have done it a couple of times [together]."