Head of the class: Australia's Travis Head celebrates after scoring his century
Ahmedabad (India) (AFP) - Travis Head hailed his “amazing day” as he smashed a World Cup final century and grabbed a spectacular diving catch to inspire Australia to a six-wicket win over India on Sunday.
Head, 29, hit 137 off 120 balls with 15 fours and four sixes as Australia coasted to a sixth world title.
“Not in a million years did I think that would happen,” said Head who was also man of the match when Australia defeated India by 209 runs in the World Test Championship final at The Oval earlier this year.
Head had scored 163 in that match.
“What an amazing day. I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.”
Head’s century was only the seventh in a final in the 48-year-history of the World Cup, but third by an Australian following match-winning efforts of 149 by Adam Gilchrist in 2007 and 140 not out by Ricky Ponting in 2003.
Head’s innings, which followed his valuable 62 in a tense three-wicket semi-final win over South Africa, was all the more impressive as he was in danger of missing the tournament completely after fracturing his hand in South Africa in September.
“It is a lot better than being sat on the couch at home (nursing his injury),” added Head who put on 192 for the fourth wicket with Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out).
“I’m very lucky that everything went well and I was able to get back and the support that the boys showed, I didn’t think this would happen.”
He added: “I was nervous in the first 20 balls but Marnus batted brilliantly and it is great to bat with him. It was an amazing partnership.”
Head had also played a key role in keeping India down to a modest total of 240.
India captain Rohit Sharma had raced to 47 off just 31 balls with four fours and three sixes.
With his team sitting pretty on 76-1 in the 10th over, Rohit launched the ball high into the off side where Head, running back from cover, dived to take a spectacular catch.
“Rohit Sharma was probably the unluckiest man in the world,” admitted Head.
“I do work hard on my catching but I couldn’t imagine holding onto that. It is a nice thing I’ll be able to look back on later in my life.”