Handscomb full of praise for Joe Root

Handscomb full of praise for Joe Root

Handscomb full of praise for Joe Root

The battle between fresh-faced skippers Steve Smith and Joe Root will go a long way to deciding the winner of this summer's Ashes.

The comparisons are obvious. Both are prodigiously talented batsmen, both have a knack of scoring runs when their sides are in dire need.

Few are as well placed to pass comment as Peter Handscomb, who recently returned home from a county stint with Yorkshire.

Handscomb, who briefly shared a dressing room with Root prior to the start of England's international season, relished the chance to study him from the non-striker's end.

hndscomb learnt from Root during his County stint. pic: Getty

"I was quite lucky, I managed to bat with him a couple of times. He's quite a relaxed character," Handscomb told AAP.

"He's class. He just knows his game so well but also knows the opposition's game very well.

"So he's one step ahead before the ball has come down in a sense."

Similar words have been used to describe Smith, who picks gaps with remarkable ease, by Handscomb and many others.

"Yeah, and he (Root) has obviously taken to captaincy quite well too," Handscomb said, highlighting Root's 190 on Test captaincy debut.

"He's calm. He reads the game well and I think he'll do a good job as England captain."

Handscomb picked the brains of Root and Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance while calling Headingley home. Both Englishmen were also understandably interested in learning more about Australian conditions.

"It's quite an open conversation; you're trying to be better players and learn from each other," Handscomb said.

"In world cricket now there's no real secrets because guys play with each other so often and also against each other, you see a lot and you can learn a lot if you're watching.

"There were a couple of good conversations but nothing too drastic."

Ballance is among the many batsmen battling for spots in England's top order for the Ashes, which starts in Brisbane on November 23.

"I have no doubt he'll be in their squad," Handscomb said.

"I got to watch him put on a clinic at the start of the season, he was making hundred after hundred."

Handscomb, who made a seamless transition to Test cricket last summer and will play a pivotal role on the upcoming Test tour of Bangladesh, learned plenty from his four months with Yorkshire.

"Mainly just to back my own technique in England. You can go over and be worried about what the ball and wickets are going to do," he said.

"I believe the biggest battle is walking to the centre with confidence and belief.

"Hopefully I come away from it a better player."

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