NEW ZEALAND v AUS­TRALIA

Sunday Herald Sun - - Cricket -

PETER Hand­scomb has nei­ther the in­cli­na­tion nor in­ten­tion to be­come Aus­tralia’s full-time wick­et­keeper, in­stead he wants to show he be­longs as a bats­man in Test cricket’s ul­ti­mate prov­ing ground.

His stance has been ap­plauded by Brad Haddin, the re­tired stumper who sits fourth on Aus­tralia’s list of all-time Test dis­missals.

Hand­scomb has taken the gloves through­out this week’s ODI series in New Zealand fol­low­ing stand-in skip­per Matthew Wade’s back in­jury.

The 25-year-old did the same at the SCG last month, when Wade was sick.

Selec­tors opted against sum­mon­ing a re­place­ment glove­man across the Tas­man for the three-match series.

Chair­man of selec­tors Trevor Hohns in­di­cated ear­lier this week he’d be com­fort­able with Hand­scomb keep­ing through­out a Test in In­dia, if Wade suf­fered a last-minute set­back dur­ing the four-match series — from Fe­bru­ary 23.

Hand­scomb said there was no prospect of him claim­ing Wade’s spot in the XI on a long-term ba­sis.

“It’s an ab­so­lute hon­our to put the gloves on for Aus­tralia, but, first and fore­most, I’ve al­ways been a bats­man,” he said in Hamil­ton, where the Chap­pell-Hadlee tro­phy will be up for grabs to­day.

“I was through­out ju­nior cricket, when I was keep­ing as well. Bat­ting was al­ways my num­ber one, but go­ing away for series and be­ing the back-up keeper, I’m very happy to do.

“It’s def­i­nitely a lit­tle bit of ex­tra pres­sure, but if that’s what the team needs, I’m happy.”

Haddin, who has worked with and men­tored Hand­scomb, sug­gested the Victorian was “too good a bat­ter” to be bur­dened with reg­u­lar keep­ing.

Hand­scomb’s ca­reer is four Tests old and he al­ready has two tons and an av­er­age of 99.75. “He’s got the right tem­per­a­ment to stop those col­lapses that we have,” Haddin said.

“He doesn’t get flus­tered at the wicket, he seems to han­dle the big stage with ease ... he got runs un­der pres­sure.”

Wade was ex­pected to have scans and a cor­ti­sone in­jec­tion upon re­turn to Mel­bourne, be­fore fly­ing out to­day or to­mor­row for a train­ing camp in Dubai.

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