Australia’s stand-in Test skipper, Steve Smith has expressed his dissatisfaction with the comments made by legendary Australian batter, Matthew Hayden on Peter Handscomb in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023. Handscomb was seen playing too defensively at times, particularly in Australia’s second innings against India in the third Test in Indore.
He scored 19 off 98 deliveries, which comprised only a solitary boundary and the remaining runs being scored in cheeky singles. Former Australian opener, Hayden seemed unimpressed with Handscomb’s batting approach. He had gone on to label the slow-scoring by the 31-year-old as very “un-Australian”.
Talking about the same, Matthew Hayden said, “He was very, very defensive with his mindset. His strike rate of under 20 means that you are not going anywhere, and the scoreboard is not going anywhere, and that’s a product of some really tough batting conditions … he was sort of like a sitting duck in many ways. It’s almost un-Australian.”
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He further added, “I don’t want anyone out there to think that I’m overly criticizing Pete, I’m not. It’s just not quite attacking enough. It’s such a tricky balance. I think he’s been outstanding.”
Smith opined that Handscomb’s innings helped the Australian batters to frustrate the Indian spinners and thus avoid another massive batting collapse, like in the first couple of Tests. Smith went on to mention that he has been “shocked” by some of the comments made by former cricketers about the current players in the ongoing series.
Talking about the same, “The first two Test matches in the first innings of both and left pretty much stranded. If one of the other top seven were able to get in a partnership with him, things could certainly be different. He batted beautifully in the first two, he’s stuck to his method, he’s trusted his defense, and then scored off balls that were either overpitched or too short and played them off the back foot.”
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He further added, “His method has proved it’s worked in difficult conditions. So I was shocked to see some comments about the way he was playing because I think him and Uzzy (Khawaja) have probably been arguably our two best batters in this series.”