Despite Australia leading 2-0 in the ongoing Ashes, a lot of questions have been raised over middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb’s position in the team mainly due to his performances in the two Tests.
Handscomb failed in the three innings he had batted in and those have situations when Australia needed someone to take responsibility and rescue the team.
Handscomb had scored 14, 36 and 12 in the first three innings of the Ashes series and cricket pundits have asked the right-handed batsman to change his technique which prominently depends on playing on the back foot. Handscomb has been widely criticised for his unusual batting technique which majorly depends on the back foot making him vulnerable against the master of swing bowling James Anderson.
However, Handscomb has got some backing from his domestic side’s coach Andrew McDonald.
McDonald, the coach of Victoria, has defended Peter’s recent failure and feels dumping him will be a “huge call” by the selectors. The Australian selectors have picked up Mitchell Marsh who has an average of 22 for the third Test and has a chance of playing in Perth as well.
“Pete’s averaging 47.35 after 12 Tests. He’s also been on the subcontinent; not many players come back with an average like that intact, It’s a bit of hype, to be honest. He’s had three hits, if you thought he was good enough leading into the first Test, I’d imagine going into the third Test 2-0 up you would probably be on that side.”
“A top-six batter averaging 47 versus a potential change with another batter. What’s Mitch Marsh averaging? 21? It would be a huge call. Runs are the key for anyone playing in the top six batters. I’d imagine an unchanged line-up leading into that Test match. The quicks probably got through unscathed with a quick kill on the morning of the fifth day.”
McDonald also admitted Handscomb is not playing the way he played 12 months ago but also believes he’ll find a way to get back in to form and score runs,
“Everyone’s different. As long as it’s repeatable to you and you can find a way, then that’s your technique. I don’t think there is a perfect technique; sometimes we look for the players that are easy on the eye and say they’ve got a good technique but sometimes they’re not the ones punching out the numbers we expect of Test cricketers – and at this stage, Pete is doing that. When you’re 2-0 up, and you have a guy averaging those numbers in your top six with a potential to be replaced by someone who isn’t punching out those numbers, is it a realistic change they’ll make?
“The selectors, to their credit, have pulled a few moves this summer that have worked and they may get creative and choose to leave out Pete, but I’d say a guy averaging that in the top six from his first 12 Test matches would be a good bet to work through that. He’s a good player before the summer started and he’s still a good player.”