Peter Handscomb Australia’s best player of spin after Steve Smith: Brad Hodge

Peter Handscomb Australia’s best player of spin after Steve Smith: Brad Hodge

"His technique was a big talking point in the Australian summer."

Brad Hodge
Brad Hodge. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Australia came up with a powerful performance against India in the fourth ODI in Mohali to square the five-match series 2-2. The visitors remained in the hunt throughout the match after India scored a mammoth 358 for 9 in 50 overs and eventually won the match by 4 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb scored 117 in 105 balls to lay the foundation of the victory with Ashton Turner’s 43-ball-84 giving the final touches. Handscomb’s hundred was his maiden in a short career in the ODIs so far and former Australia batsman Brad Hodge endorsed him as the side’s best player of spin bowling after former captain Steve Smith whose year-long ban will end later this month.

The Victoria batsman, who was recalled to Australia’s ODI side for the home series against India in January, has been among those few yellow jersey batsmen in good touch. Although he was let off by India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, thanks to stumping miss, it did not reduce the significance of Handscomb’s match-winning knock.

‘Handscomb was never out of form’

“His technique was a big talking point in the Australian summer, only because it actually doesn’t look fashionable. We don’t like change, we’re pretty set in our ways as cricketers. Peter Handscomb goes about his work in a completely different manner,” Hodge told ESPNcricinfo. “He was never out of form, he was just put up against a pretty good Indian attack in [Jasprit] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami and Ishant Sharma, so he had his troubles but I think he’s fought back.”

Handscomb had a pretty ordinary show against India in the last Test series they played in December-January, scoring 105 runs in three matches, missing the Boxing Day game in Melbourne.

In pursuit of Australia’s best chase in ODIs for a victory, Handscomb added 192 runs with opener Usman Khawaja (91) for the third wicket after Australia lost two quick wickets for 12 runs. Khawaja missed out on his second consecutive hundred in the series but their massive partnership nullified the 193-run opening partnership that Rohit Sharma (95) and Shikhar Dhawan (143) had for India.

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