Handscomb won’t compromise with bat for wicketkeeping gains
Peter Handscomb has not said not to keeping wickets full time in ODIs. (AFP Image)

Australia‘s Peter Handscomb is open to the opportunity of keeping wickets full time in the 50-over format but insisted he will go ahead provided he is fit and able to balance wicketkeeping and batting. Handscomb kept wickets in the first T20I against India in Vizag, ahead of vice-captain Alex Carey, who lately has been keeping wickets for Australia in ODIs.

Handscomb, 27, also pointed out he is keen on keeping wickets for the ODIs for the next leg of the tour but isn’t willing to risk it just yet. With the World Cup being every team’s prime focus, Handscomb is not shutting the doors on keeping wickets and is working on his fitness.

“I just need to make sure I’m fit enough and strong enough that if we keep first in a 50-over game I can still go out there and bat at four or five and make sure I’m still running hard between the wickets and doing everything right by the team,” Handscomb said on Monday.

“T20 is not too bad, it’s sort of over and done with pretty quickly. One-dayers can be a bit tougher. Especially in India with a bit of heat and up to the stumps a lot more on spinning wickets. So, it can be tough but it’s something I am looking forward to having a crack at.”

In order to improve himself as a keeper, Handscomb has been working closely with former Australia wicketkeeper batsman. “Hadds is great,” Handscomb said. “We actually did a bit of work together, a couple of years ago – maybe a year and a half ago.

“That put me on the right path with my keeping. We found a little routine that I can do at training or before a game that just gets me going, gets me ready to keep, whether I’ve been training a lot or I haven’t been.”

While he was clean behind the stumps, Handscomb scored just 13 and ran D’Arcy Short out as Australia had to wobble early in their chase.

“Running between the wickets is one of those things; I hadn’t batted with D’Arcy a lot, Stoin hadn’t batted with D’Arcy a lot,” Handscomb said. “You’ve got to work out your singles you can take and your calls and that only comes with playing more and more with each other. I wouldn’t be too worried about that moving forward.

“Sometimes plans don’t come off but ‘Stoiny’ up the top has been unbelievable for the Stars. I daresay if he gets his crack again to open he’ll dominate.”