Peter Handscomb hurt at Test snub
Peter Handscomb is eager to reclaim his place in the Australian team. (Getty Images)

Wicketkeeper batsman Peter Handscomb was left disappointed at his exclusion from Australia’s squad for the two-Test series against Pakistan. Since scoring a century against South Australia way back in February, the 27-year-old has undergone a string of low scores, most recent being the series against India A. In In the two List A games against India A and India B, Handscomb scored 4 runs and managed scores of 0, 8, 8 and 56 in the two First-Class games matches against India A earlier this month.

Disappointment aside, Handscomb admits that he hasn’t scored enough runs to prevent being dropped.

“It’s the same old – you’ve got make runs to be playing for Australia and I haven’t been putting numbers on the board that’s needed to represent this country,” he told cricket.com.au.

“It’s obviously tough, getting dropped at any stage hurts and it’s happened a couple of times over the last few months for myself. It’s not something I’m trying to make a habit of. It’s always pretty tough news.

“I was backing myself to score runs in the subcontinent. I had a tough tour (this month) with Australia A in India, but I know I can do it and I’ve done it before both in India and Bangladesh. I was hoping to get the chance in the UAE, but unfortunately it didn’t come through.”

Handscomb made his Test debut against South Africa in November 2016. He scored 344 runs in the series against Pakistan averaging over 114 with two centuries and a fifty. During the Border-Gavaskar trophy last year, as the entire Australia team was troubled by Indian spinners, Handscomb played couple of gutsy knocks. But his runs have dried up lately and the 27-year-old has even had his technique questioned by many, including former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

“It hurt a little bit, especially (given) 12 months earlier I was making runs with the exact same technique and there weren’t any issues then,” Handscomb said.

“It was a bit of a shame to have all these comments come out saying it was my technique that was the problem. Maybe it was a contributing factor, but I just wasn’t putting runs on the board.

However, despite the criticism, Handscomb is confident of his abilities and has backed himself to make a statement strong enough to come back into the side. Australia are scheduled to host India for four Tests starting December and with Steve Smith and David Warner out serving bans, Handscomb will have his eyes set on the possibility of a middle-order berth.

“I’ve got to make sure I keep my strengths going; I can tinker with a couple of things, but (don’t) go away too far from what I know,” he said.

“I feel good in the nets, I just need to convert it out in the middle. It’s more mental than anything. I know my game is good enough, I’ve just got to back myself and stick to my strengths.”