Peter Stephen Patrick Handscomb
April 26, 1991, Melbourne, Victoria
Right hand bat
A middle-order batsman with unique technique, Peter Handscomb earned his first Test call-up in 2016-17 after a prolific period for Victoria. His inclusion for the Adelaide Test against South Africa followed a career-best 215 in the Sheffield Shield, and the previous summer he had been the competition's third-leading run scorer. Handscomb immediately showed his comfort at Test level by striking 54 on debut against South Africa in Adelaide, also hitting the winning runs, and a maiden century came in his next Test against Pakistan at the Gabba. By the end of his first home summer of Test cricket, Handscomb was in the remarkable position of having not been dismissed below 50 in any of his first seven innings of Test cricket - the first player in Test history to have achieved that feat.
He debuted in ODI cricket in the same summer and then went on the tours of India and Bangladesh, playing vital match-saving and match-winning hands in Ranchi and Chittagong. But questions about his technique against pace bowling were raised during the 2017-18 Ashes and he lost his place after two Tests. He was recalled in Johannesburg on the infamous tour of South Africa following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, and looked set to become a permanent fixture following the suspensions of Steve Smith and David Warner, but a poor Australia A tour of India saw him miss selection for the UAE Test tour against Pakistan in October 2018.
He was then recalled, dropped, recalled and dropped again during the home Test series against India and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, he established himself in the ODI team as an adaptable middle order player. He made his T20I debut as a wicketkeeper on the limited-overs tour of India and scored a maiden ODI century to help Australia to a record chase of 359 in Mohali. He was left out of the 2019 World Cup squad despite playing the previous 13 ODIs, because of Smith's return. He was thrown into the side for the semi-final against England as an injury replacement, but made only 4 as Australia fell to a heavy defeat.
Handscomb first came to prominence in 2015 when captained Australia A and was part of Australia's ODI squad in England in 2015 without playing a match. The owner of a British passport as the Australian-born son of English parents, Handscomb was a talented junior tennis player but chose a career on the pitch rather than on the court. He captained Victoria to an Australian one-day domestic title in 2018-19. He has also spent time in county cricket, playing with Gloucestershire in 2015 before stints with Yorkshire and Durham. He was appointed Middlesex's captain by Stuart Law ahead of the 2020 season.
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