Ashes 2017/18: Australia Will Continue to Sledge in Adelaide – Peter Handscomb
Aussie middle-order batsman has conceded the fact that the ruthless Aussies will be pressing for any sort of advantage over visiting England and just like the opening Test at the Gabba in Brisbane it will continue like that even in the 2nd Test scheduled to begin in a couple of day’s time.
Handscomb targeted Jonny Bairstow with the reminders of headbutt of Bancroft in a Perth bar on England’s first night of the tour. It has now turned in to an Ashes folklore and undoubtedly will be rated, as one of the smartest moves to rattle any opposition batsmen.
It was Handscomb who instigated the attack on England’s wicket-keeper batsmen during a crucial juncture of the Gabba Test asking him whether he had headbutted Bancroft before teammate David Warner also joined in.
“I was just asking him a question, just wanted to get the facts before anything happened,” Handscomb said with a smile on Thursday. “We’ve just got to play it by ear and see what happens. It’s a bit of a spur of the moment thing. It’s how we’re feeling depending on what’s happening in the game, and you’ve got to try and pick your right moments.
“As far as sledging goes it was probably some of the smartest stuff we’ve ever come up with. Generally, it’s just what the Aussie way is, it’s pretty brutal, but no, it was good to see that worked. It’s a part of the game. It has been for a long time, and it will continue to be. If we can keep being smart with our sledges then if it opens up a weakness we’ll be pretty happy with it.
“During Shield cricket, we come pretty hard at each other even though we are team-mates in the Australian team. It’s something we’re used to and something we do, but we know it’s on the field. Once it’s off the field, relaxed, do whatever, but we’re trying our hardest to win games for this country, and if that’s going to give us a slight edge, well we’re going to do it.”
The home team had made no secret of deliberately attacking Bairstow, a ploy which they also used when he was included as a replacement for Matt Prior during the 2012-13 series. Handscomb further stated that attempts to distract their oppositions will be in full swing and will continue to be effective as was the case in Brisbane. He also added that they have to back it up with discipline and continue their efforts with the ball and in the field.
“It doesn’t work that often; I wouldn’t have thought,” Handscomb said when asked how often he had seen an episode of sledging reap the sorts of rewards seen in Brisbane. “It’s generally good bowling or good catching that gets guys out. But if you can get that 1% edge over an opposition, you’d be silly not to.”
Handscomb feels despite getting more and more prone to LBW he is committed to his unorthodox batting approach.
“I have batted deep in my crease for three years, and I am not really that concerned. I batted deep last year and managed to hit balls on the stumps and made lots of runs,” Handscomb said. “Kyle Abbott was pretty good, Kagiso Rabada, good players, I am not concerned obviously I have got my plans, I just need to hit the ball, it’s as simple as that.
“I knew way before [that England would attack his stumps], I know I get out lbw and bowled, that’s why I have tried to change a few things with my technique, that’s part of it, bat deep and all that to give myself more time, I knew the plans well before [Brisbane].”
Handscomb was confident of the fact if Australia plays the game, they want to in the 2nd Test then no one can stop them from taking a 2-0 lead.
“I suppose complacency can set in, but that’s something we are obviously going not to try and do. We understand we have had a good game in Brisbane, but that’s gone now it’s completely different conditions as well, being a day-night test, pink ball, but we have got to make sure we do things right by our own team and play our own game,” Handscomb concluded.