Handscomb hits back: Nothing wrong with my technique
CRICKET: Peter Handscomb has laughed off suggestions his unorthodox batting technique has got him into trouble in Test cricket.
The Victorian was dropped for Mitch Marsh for the third Test at the WACA last week after averaging 20.66 across the first two Ashes encounters.
Marsh went on to score a potentially career-defining century to help Australia to an Ashes-sealing victory, hurting Handscomb's hopes of a recall for the Boxing Day Test.
Despite the fall from grace, Handscomb says he will not be making any changes to the way he plays, sticking by his high back lift and preference to stay deep in his crease.
"I was doing the exact same thing last year, but I was making runs so my technique was OK then," he said on Friday, referring to his first summer in the Australian team when he averaged 99.75 across four Tests.
"This year I'm doing the same thing but haven't made the runs so all of a sudden my technique's not good enough. It's just funny how that can happen."
Handscomb pointed to the success of Steve Smith as evidence that textbook technique is not a prerequisite for success at the highest level.
The Australian captain averages 62.32 in Test cricket with a famously unique batting set-up, and has been a cut above England this summer (426 at 142).
"Steve's technique is not something that you'd teach but it works for him, so I'm not worried about how my technique is working," Handscomb said.
"I've just got to keep on backing it and I'm pretty confident I'll make runs if selected."
It's been a lean first-class summer for the 26-year-old - he has only passed 50 once in nine innings thus far and is averaging 24.33. Despite those numbers, he insists he is not out of form, pointing to the fact that his two most recent innings were in some of Test cricket's toughest conditions - under lights against a new pink ball at Adelaide Oval.
"I'm quite confident with the way I'm batting at the moment," Handscomb said.
"I'm not really that worried about my game at the moment. I know how well I can play and I know how tough Test cricket is. (If) I come back in at any stage I'm pretty confident I'll be able to come in and make runs."
Handscomb has remained with the Australian Test squad rather than linking up with Big Bash League club Melbourne Stars, with the Bushrangers captain determined to be in the right frame of mine if he called upon at the MCG.
"We've got the facilities for myself to keep practising red ball cricket," he said.
"You need to be there ready to go with your long-format, Test skills rather than going back and trying to slog the white ball around."
Although Handscomb was bitterly disappointed to be left on the bench in Perth, he was over the moon for Marsh, who notched a maiden Test century in his 22nd game under the baggy green.
"It sucks having to sit on the sidelines. I was frustrated to be left out but that's part of it and we won the Test and won the Ashes, so there's no issues," he said.
"I love Mitchy. I couldn't have been happier for him to go out there and bat the way he did and really show Australia how good a player he actually is."
With the Ashes already won, Australia head into the Boxing Day Test with one eye on inflicting a series whitewash.
The fourth Test begins on Tuesday.