India vs Australia 2017: Australia Focusing On The Final Test And Not On The Prospect Of Series Win, Says Peter Handscomb
Peter Handscomb, Australia’s middle-order batsman, has insisted his team is not getting carried away over the prospect of registering a historic Test series win in India.
Australia’s last series victory in India came in 2004 when the Ricky Ponting-led side defeated Sourav Ganguly’s men 2-1. But since then, the team from Down Under has endured a torrid time in India, losing eight of the 10 Tests thereafter while drawing other two. The duck was finally broken when Steven Smith’s men beat the hosts by 333 runs in the series-opener in Pune to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The world number one side drew level by winning the next match in Bengaluru but a draw in the penultimate match in Ranchi has given both the teams a chance to win the series when the final Test gets underway in Dharamsala from March 25. Despite so much at stake in the upcoming match, Handscomb said the visitors are not getting swayed away by the prospect of a series win.
In an interview to Cricket Australia, he said:
“Yeah, we’re definitely aware of Australia’s Test record in India. We know how hard it is to come over here and win the series, but I guess all we are really focusing on is the Test itself and not being too overawed by the significance of it.
“If we can go out and just go with those same plans that we’ve had in the previous three Tests then hopefully it looks after itself and potentially create our own little bit of history,” he added.
Speaking about the Ranchi Test where the Australian team fought really hard on the final day to salvage a draw, the right-handed batsman said:
“It gives the squad a massive amount of confidence, knowing we can go in and assess the pitch as quickly as we can and then play our game from there. Obviously we did that well in Pune and we’ve had two different types of wickets again in Bangalore and Ranchi so if we can assess the conditions as quickly as possible and go from there I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
The visitors were in a spot of bother after losing two of their in-form batsmen Matt Renshaw and Steven Smith during the first session of the fifth day but Handscomb and Shaun Marsh bailed out Australia with their nearly four-hour resistance. Marsh was dismissed for 53 but Handscomb, who made an unbeaten 72, guided Australia to a hard-earned draw.
The 25-year-old further rued his team’s failure to score more in the first innings despite being in a strong position before adding the draw in Ranchi would give his team ample confidence in the upcoming Test.
“I guess after that first innings we were glad that we got 450, but reflecting on the game – and we did speak about it afterwards – we did score 450 but we definitely did have a chance there to score 500-550, potentially 600, and really set the game up for ourselves,” he pointed out.
“But now that we have had that second innings where we batted so well, we know we can take that belief into the first innings at Dharamsala and go from there and hopefully score big first innings runs,” Handscomb concluded.
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