Peter Handscomb desirous of 2023 World Cup spot: The Australian batsman has expressed disappointment regarding ODI snub.
Having not played a single ODI in 2018, Australia batsman Peter Handscomb was part of the Playing XI for the first ODI which his team played in 2019. Coming in to bat at No. 5 in the 29th over, Handscomb scored 73 (61) to propel Australia to a match-winning 288/5 in 20 overs against India at the SCG.
Having scored 479 runs at an average of 43.54 and a strike rate of 98.15 including one century and three half-centuries in 13 ODIs leading up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Handscomb was Australia’s third-highest run-scorer in that period – only behind Usman Khawaja (769) and captain Aaron Finch (634).
Despite being backed by numbers, the right-hand batsman failed to make it to the World Cup squad. However, a series of injured players saw him playing in the semi-final against England in Birmingham.
Part of Australia’s squad for India tour earlier this year, Handscomb didn’t get to play a game due to the re-emergence of Steve Smith and emergence of Marnus Labuschagne in the middle-order.
Not part of the squad for home series against New Zealand in March, Handscomb has now been left out of a 26-member preliminary squad for the tour of England in September. The hardest part was that the 29-year old player got to know about his omission via an Instagram post.
“I saw a post on Instagram that Australia had named a 26-man squad for the ODIs in England. I was like, ‘Oh cool, all right. I guess I’m not in that!’ That sucked. I was in the 15-man squad to go to India in January. I still thought I was in the top 20 one-day players given what I had done over the last year and a half. To not be in the 26, that really hurt.
“Going from being in the 15 and then having 11 guys essentially jump me – I know they’re different roles and different positions – but that hurt a fair bit,” Handscomb was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Peter Handscomb desirous of 2023 World Cup spot
Revealing his conversation around the snub with national selector and former captain George Bailey, Handscomb opened up not feeling any less hurt despite receiving clarification on the matter.
“I had a really, really good conversation with George [Bailey]. I just wanted to get clarification around how I had gone from being in the 15 to not being in the 26.
“To his credit he said I’m competing against guys like Smudge [Steve Smith], Marnus and [Alex] Carey as well in terms of guys who control the middle order. They’re pretty solid at the moment in terms of three, four, five [in the batting order].
“I argued that I had made runs and could push a case there, but I’m going up against some pretty good players in terms of trying to steal their spots. I understood that decision, that’s fine, but that didn’t mean it hurt any less. It was really good to have that conversation with George to get that clarity,” he added.
Desirous of playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, Handscomb highlighted his ability to play spin well. In 13 ODIs in the sub-continent, Handscomb has scored 387 runs at an average of 35.18 and a strike rate of 97.72 including one century and half-century each.
“I would like to think with the World Cup in India in 2023 that I am at least on their radar. I’d consider myself a good player of spin and being able to control those middle overs.
“George did mention that [World Cup] in our conversation, that it is hopefully something I can aspire to. With that being three years away, there’s still a lot of cricket to be played and water to go under the bridge,” Handscomb mentioned.