February 26, 2019 / 8:07 AM / 23 days ago

Australia's Handscomb ready to step up as wicketkeeper in ODIs

Cricket - South Africa v Australia - Fourth Test - Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - April 1, 2018 Australia’s Peter Handscomb REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

(Reuters) - Australia’s Peter Handscomb wants to don the wicketkeeping gloves in 50-overs cricket after his surprise selection as the stumper in the Twenty20 against India, and said he is willing to do the job provided it does not affect his batting.

The selectors picked Handscomb ahead of regular wicketkeeper Alex Carey in Sunday’s first T20 against India at Visakhapatnam, where the visitors won a thrilling match by three wickets.

Determined to make a case for his selection as Australia’s wicketkeeper for the World Cup in May, the 27-year-old Victorian was tidy with the gloves but contributed just 13 with the bat.

“The main thing for me is that it doesn’t affect my batting,” Handscomb told reporters.

“I just need to make sure I’m fit enough and strong enough that if we keep first in a 50-over game I can still go out there and bat at four or five and make sure I’m still running hard between the wickets.”

Handscomb’s 361 runs at an average of 51.57 in the one-day format for Victoria this season makes a strong case for his inclusion in the World Cup squad.

He credited his work with fielding coach and World Cup-winning wicketkeeper Brad Haddin during limited-overs tour to India and New Zealand in 2017 to improve his glovework.

“Hadds is great,” Handscomb said. “We actually did a bit of work together, a couple of years ago – maybe a year and a half ago. That put me on the right path with my keeping.”

The second and final T20 between India and Australia will be played in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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