Star Aussie batter Travis Head has credited his glamourous model wife for his incredible reversal in form after a stunning century in the World Test Championship final on Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old smashed the Indian bowlers all around The Oval with his trademark swashbuckling style, crunching an unbeaten 146 off just 156 deliveries, as he and Steve Smith (95*) led Australia to an imposing 3/327 on day one of the final.
It continues a stunning patch of form despite the South Australian often finding himself out of favour with selectors, leaving many fans and legends of the game baffled over his treatment.
It’s now hard to imagine how Aussie cricket’s top brass can even contemplate leaving out the attacking left-hander anytime soon.
And it might all be thanks to wife Jess Davies (maiden name), who he married in April this year after getting engaged to the model in March 2021.
Travis Head has credited his wife, Jess, who he married in April, for his stunning purple patch of form
The 29-year-old salutes the crowd after his stunning 106-ball century against India in the World Test Championship final on Wednesday
Jess Head, holding baby Milla, celebrates at The Oval after her husband brought up his century
Speaking to reporters after his brilliant knock, Head reflected on how having a stable, happy life off the field with Jess and nine-month old daughter Milla had translated to better results with bat in hand in the Test arena.
‘I’m in a nice little period of my life off the field right now too and it’s all emerging into clarity and consistency in a very enjoyable team to play for,’ he said after the match.
Jess has worked with a number of modelling agencies and is now a constant fixture on her famous husband’s Instagram as the pair travel the globe. Not just for his cricket career, either. Their recent honeymoon included glamorous locations like Nice, Capri and Sorrento.
Their wedding in April was a lavish affair in their native Adelaide that was a who’s-who of Aussie cricket.
The pair got married in a lavish ceremony in Adelaide in April in front of a who’s-who of Aussie cricket, with the day described as ‘special’
Head and wife Jess now have a nine-month-old daughter, Milla (pictured together)
Aussie skipper Pat Cummins attended the festivities with wife Becky, as well as Tim and Bonnie Paine, Nathan Lyon and Emma McCarthy and many other cricketing identities.
Davies wore a stunning Pallas Couture gown, with a plunging neckline and thigh split, while Head looked as handsome as ever in an MJ Bale tuxedo.
‘Everything about this weekend was perfect, so much love. Bestie, I love you,’ Head wrote in a sweet post about the day, with wife Jess also writing how ‘special’ the day was.
‘Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life as your wife reminding you of how incredible you are,’ she said in a social media post about the big day in April.
‘Nothing more special than marrying my best friend at our home, in front of our closest friends and family.’
It’s safe to say getting engaged to Jess has had an immediate effect on Head’s Test career, especially his skyrocketing strike-rate that has doubled, while his average has increased by almost 20 runs per innings.
Travis Head’s incredible Test record since getting engaged to now-wife
Before getting engaged
19 matches, 1153 runs @ 39.75. Strike-rate: 49.65. Two centuries, seven fifties
After getting engaged
18 matches, 1354 runs @ 58.86. Strike-rate: 81.91. Four centuries, six fifties
The swashbuckling left-hander smashes a pull shot through midwicket during his unbeaten century
Inexplicably, despite Australia never winning a Test without Head since he made his debut in 2018, selectors decided to leave him out in the first Test of the recent India series.
After realising their error and including him for the final three matches of the series in March, Head promptly averaged more than 47 with a strike rate of 68 on very difficult batting pitches.
And here we now are, Head potentially leading Australia to victory in a World Test Championship final.
Coming to the wicket with the side precariously placed at 3-76, Head smashed his 50 off just 60 balls, meaning he had passed 40 in nine of his past 14 innings.
His century came off just 106 balls, and the manner in which he did so should frighten the Indian bowling attack.
He did it everywhere. In the air, on the ground. Through the covers, behind point. Smashed through midwicket, and straight down the ground.
Aussie cricket fans should buy Head’s wife Jess a beer for the role Head said she has played in his purple patch.
The pair met at Adelaide’s Trinity College, but it took awhile for the pair to realise they were meant to be.
For the sake of Australian cricket, it’s brilliant they did realise.
The pair met at school in Adelaide, but remained in touch before their romance began to blossom
Head kisses the Australian badge on his helmet after bringing up his century against England on Wednesday night
‘We were together at school. We met at Trinity College then we had a few years apart, but we always kept in contact,’ Head told the Soda Room podcast last year about how they got together.
‘We started talking again around that first shield final, or maybe second one, and then I was going to India the next day and then going straight to England. And I flew her to England.
‘It’s very funny because I flew her business as well. So I set an early precedent, didn’t I. And she won’t mind me saying this. But yeah, it’s an expensive date … But it was definitely worth it.
‘Thank you Mum and Dad. The best thing to come out of school!’
One thing we do know for sure is that Head will not take his foot off the pedal. It’s not reckless, it’s just the way
‘I like to be positive around my scoring approach. I feel like I play my best game that way – whether it’s from three for 10 or three for 300,’ he told reporters.
‘I’m not trying to be as aggressive as I am. It’s just how I see it. I haven’t felt like I’m trying to push the envelope or need to hold back.’
Day two of the World Test Championship final continues on Thursday night from 7.30pm AEST.