Handscomb staying grounded despite plaudits


Australia A captain Peter Handscomb has received a lot of praise from some pretty auspicious quarters recently but insists he remains focused on the job at hand.

Far from ignoring what is written about him, Handscomb takes it in but doesn’t allow the words to effect him too much.

The Victorian has been touted for higher honours and is highly rated as a player of spin, leading many to believe he will be included in Australia’s squad for the tour to India next year after the humiliating whitewash in Sri Lanka.

Among those calling for Handscomb’s elevation are Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Chris Rogers.

Handscomb though is focused on continuing to do well for Australia A, as they prepare to face India in two unofficial four-day ‘Tests’.

The second string skipper said: “I don’t try to take any of it too seriously because ultimately my job at the moment is to just try and score runs for Australia A and then go back to Victoria.

“I tend to read it a bit just to see what’s out there and what’s going on rather than letting my mind wander about what’s being said.

“It’s obviously very nice when and if someone comes out and says something like that about me.

“I like reading it but … rather than focus on what they’re saying and how I could be next in line or anything in terms of higher honours, my main focus is just about doing what I can do now, which is scoring runs for Victoria and Australia A.

“And if that job title changes and I go up a level, then hopefully I can take that opportunity.”

A large part of the increased spotlight being placed on Handscomb is his perceived strength against spin, although his last trip to India saw him grind out 91 before getting a pair of ducks in two first class matches.

Handscomb himself has rejected the suggestion that he would have certainly performed better than the batsmen Australia sent to Sri Lanka.

The 25-year-old continued: “I feel quite confident against spin, but that’s not to say I could definitely go over to Sri Lanka and do any better than what the boys just did.

“Because conditions are tough and (Sri Lanka) are a very, very good side in their own conditions.

“But I do pride myself on my spin play and I’ll work on that at every training session to make sure I can get better.

“But on the flip side, I’m batting at No.4 for Victoria – and have done now for a couple of years – on Australian wickets so most of the time I’m facing quicks.

“I don’t want people thinking I can only play spin and I can’t play quicks, because I spend more time facing quicks than I do anything else.”