David Warner was full of praise for Travis Head after the Australia number five repaid the selectors’ faith with a century on day two of the second Ashes Test against England.
Head, who was selected ahead of Usman Khawaja, was 112 not out at the close as the hosts ended 196 runs in front on 343 for seven.
Warner, who himself hit 94, said in an interview broadcast on BT Sport: “They did bowl well, they were relentless and hit that target short of a length all day.
“But what an entertaining innings by Travis Head. It was great to watch and put smiles on our faces.
“It has got to be up there for him. It was a tight battle with him and Ussie. To come out and play the way he did, that’s the Travis Head we know.
“That was extraordinary and I’m really happy for him.”
Head, who will resume on 112 not out on Friday morning, was understandably ecstatic having just registered the third-fastest Ashes century in series history.
Speaking of his achievements, Head stated: "I'm still pinching myself, I can't quite work out for happened over those couple of hours.
"I found the first 20 runs really, really tough but the game opened up and I was able to take my opportunity. I'm playing for country and loving doing it. It's an amazing feeling to get another Test match hundred.
"I rode my luck in parts but I put Australia in a great position and I'm very privileged to be able to do that."
Ollie Robinson was the standout performer for England, taking three for 48 to confirm his credentials as serious Test performer, but his best efforts were not matched by the rest of the team, and it's looking increasingly likely that the game may have already slipped through the tourists' fingers.
To make matters worse, all-rounder Stokes jarred his left knee midway through the day and so was only able to offer half-measures after his initial flurry. He'll be assessed overnight.
Speaking of Stokes' injury, Robinson said: "It's always tough when a seamer goes down, especially in these conditions.
"He (Stokes) has got something that not all of us have - he's got that pace and bounce - so it hurts us a little bit. The other boys took the slack and I thought it was a good effort in the end.
"It was a warm one. They were tough conditions for us but the boys toiled hard. There were some missed opportunities and on another day we could have them four down early."
Indeed, missed opportunites was the theme of the match, with Warner escaping three close calls, first bowled by a Stokes no-ball, then dropped by Rory Burns at slip and finally spared a run-out by Haseeb Hameed's close range miss.
Regarding his own fitness, Robinson provided England with a boost. He shrugged off injury concerns of his own after feeling his hamstring in yesterday's clash.
"My body is doing OK, I came off for some strapping and maintenance but I'll rest up tonight and come back (on Friday)," he said.
"It came out well. I was consistent and had a lot of plays and misses. I sort of felt like I was going to get Warner out every over."
As for Stokes, his day easily could've stole the headlines if he had just had better footwork. He clipped Warner's off stump when he had just 17, only for the Australian to be called back due to Stokes crossing the white line.
It was later revealed that it was one of 14 no-balls he sent down before lunch, none of which were called in real time. Confirmation arrived eventually that the technology had malfunctioned and would not be available in the match.
England's bowling coach, Jon Lewis, commented on the incident, saying: "What a fast bowler needs is some sort of understanding of where their feet are. He needs some feedback from the umpires.
"It would have been nice for the first no-ball to be called for he could have made an adjustment so from then on he would have been behind the line."