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News

Handscomb hopeful of Test recall for India tour

He is the leading Sheffield Shield run-scorer and his ability to take the gloves could work in his favour

AAP
07-Dec-2022
Peter Handscomb has had an impressive first half of the season in first-class cricket  •  Getty Images

Peter Handscomb has had an impressive first half of the season in first-class cricket  •  Getty Images

Peter Handscomb hopes his weight of runs can open the door for an Australian Test recall but concedes selection on the tour to India is largely out of his hands.
Handscomb will get one final chance to push his case when he leads a Cricket Australia XI against South Africa, starting in Brisbane on Friday.
The 31-year-old will then swap the whites for coloured kit, having signed a late deal to join the Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming BBL season. Handscomb has not featured in the Test arena since being dropped almost four years ago.
But the Victoria captain has starred in this summer's Sheffield Shield, leading all run-scorers with 562 runs at 93.66, and notched a pair of half-centuries for the Prime Minister's XI against West Indies last month.
"I'm thereabouts...so the conversations [with Test selectors] are promising," Handscomb told reporters on Tuesday. "But you've also got to look at the Test squad as well and there are guys that are in front of me and there are batters doing pretty impressive things.
"I can score as many runs as I want but there still needs to be a spot at the next level, and at the moment they're playing pretty good cricket."
Known for his ability to play spin, the right-hander's best chance of a recall for the India tour would come if selectors do not back Travis Head to return to the sub-continent after his tough tours of Sri Lanka and Pakistan this year. Handscomb's versatility as a capable wicketkeeper could also play into his hands.
"All you can do as a batter is force your way in through weight of numbers," Handscomb said. "I pick up the gloves just to make sure that they also know that I'm still available as a back-up 'keeper, or can take them if need be. That's also an important skill to have in your bag."
Handscomb joins Renegades after two seasons with the Hobart Hurricanes, which followed a long stint with the Melbourne Stars.
A 78-game BBL veteran, Handscomb averages almost 25 with the bat at a strike-rate above 120, having batted everywhere from opener to No. 7 over the last four summers.
Handscomb adds further firepower to a strong Renegades batting line-up that features Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Nic Maddinson and overseas signings Andre Russell and Martin Guptill.
"For the last couple of seasons I haven't been playing my best cricket in the T20 format but that can change pretty quickly," Handscomb said. "If I get a chance hopefully at some stage this season I'll be looking to grab it with both hands and do whatever I can to help us win."