Familiar faces and a well-known opponent are making Travis Head's return to Australia's Test team a comfortable, relaxed experience.
Rather than feeling the pressure to perform after his axing midway through last summer's series against India, Head feels he's in a good mindset going into the Ashes opener in Brisbane.
The South Australian has already been given clarity with new captain Pat Cummins confirming on Sunday Head had won the race to be Australia's No.5 ahead of Usman Khawaja.
With or without that early selection call, Head says just getting back in the Australian squad was a liberating experience, especially having been a part of the successful 2019 Ashes tour in England.
"It's great to be back. Obviously we haven't played a lot in the last little period and that 2019 series, that's probably the most fun I've ever had playing cricket," Head said.
"Three or four months of being over in England, as an A squad, going into an Ashes and the build-up.
"I think it's just more relaxed being around the environment, being around familiar faces, around the same sort of banter and enjoyment that we have as a group.
"Really enjoying the camp so far and looking to take that enjoyment into the way we play as a group over the next two months."
In 19 Tests the 27-year-old averages 39.75 with two 100s and seven 50s but has often been criticised for losing his wicket at either crucial times or when seemingly well set.
Head said he wasn't charged with changing much in his game after his Text axing but comes into the series with scores of 163 and 55 in the Sheffield Shield this season, and a blistering 230 off 127 in the domestic one-day tournament.
"There's been opportunities to take that spot a few times," he said.
"I've been in that position and taken my chances a couple of times and let chances slip a couple of times. That happens.
"I feel like my learnings from Shield cricket, being able to go out and be consistent as possible.
"I feel like I'm in a great space to try and take that spot, and try and contribute for Australia."
Head also doesn't believe the fact he is coming in above inexperienced allrounder Cameron Green and Test debutant Alex Carey puts any extra burden on his own shoulders in Australia's batting lineup.
"You look at how well Greeny's played over a period of time, I think he's just waiting to burst onto the scene and make huge runs," Head said.
"Alex is the same. He's played a lot of international cricket, he's going to come into this environment knowing what to expect from one-day cricket and T20 cricket.
"Obviously Test cricket is a lot different ... he knows what the expectations are. I'm confident in the guys behind me and the guys ahead of me, I'll just make sure I do my role."
Both teams had a penultimate training session at the Gabba on Monday, as well as having a look at the first Test pitch two days out from the series starting in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Australian Associated Press