Peter Handscomb not fretting over Ashes spot
Peter Handscomb has been in and out of Australia's Test team. © AFP

Despite a decent series against India with the bat, Australia batsmen Peter Handscomb is content not dwelling much over the possibility of featuring in The Ashes. And the reason behind his assessment is the complex schedule which lies ahead.

Having scored 151 runs in three matches, Handscomb has helped his case for the series against Pakistan in the UAE and India, followed by the World Cup starting May 30, which gives him virtually no room to feature in First-Class matches. Handscomb featured in three of the four Tests Australia played against India but was omitted from the squad for the two Tests against Lanka. Regardless, the 26-year-old is happy to be among the runs, whichever format they might be in.

“Any runs are good runs,” Handscomb said. “I’m just trying to play for Australia in any format. If I’m doing well in the one-dayers, happy days. I can push my case at some stage for red-ball again, but at the moment I’ve got to concentrate on the white ball.”

The Ashes is an afterthought considering the World Cup beginning May 30. Not in the best of forms, Australia, the defending champions will have to bring out their A game if the title is to be retained. In terms of favourites, World No. 1 and 2, England and India, lead the charts, with opinions divided over South Africa and New Zealand being a close third. Languishing at No. 6, not many give Australia a chance.

Handscomb explained that Australia would look to follow the blue-print England followed on their way to becoming the No. 1 ODI side in the world. “They go pretty hard, but they’ve got their controllers as well,” Handscomb spoke of England.

“They have (Joe) Root and (Eoin) Morgan who play that holding role in the middle. I’m looking to go at a run a ball and play the spin really well. We’re looking to rotate the strike against spin and take it deep. The power we’ve got in this team is amazing, as long as we get them in the last 10 overs. If you change your game plan, it’s not going to work straight away. For us it’s worked pretty well pretty quickly, but we’ve got some things to learn.”

Handscomb has not had to keep wickets for a while with Tim Paine taking over the duty in tests and Alex Carey keeping behind the stumps in the ODIs against India. That said, Handscomb admitted that if the opportunity arrives, he wouldn’t shy away from putting on the wicketkeeping gloves.

“I’m willing to do it,” he said. “I obviously do it for the Stars as well (in the KFC BBL). I know that’s 20 overs, but it’s still ticking it over. I’m ready to go if need be, but obviously Kez is our vice-captain, he does a very good job behind the stumps and bats beautifully. So I’d be surprised (if I was asked).”