Peter Handscomb has hit back at Ricky Ponting after the former captain delivered a scathing critique of the Aussie side’s attitude in the fourth Test.
Ponting took an extraordinary swipe at Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon over a shocking moment at the SCG on day four against India at the SCG.
Lyon was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav, but replays showed the ball probably struck him outside the line of off stump.
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But inexplicably, Lyon and non-striker Starc decided not to use the DRS despite having two reviews remaining, and only two wickets in hand.
Ponting was particularly critical of Starc, who was standing too wide of the stumps at the other end to be able to give his opinion about the decision.
When Lyon asked Starc whether he should review, Starc simply shrugged his shoulders and Lyon jogged off.
“That’s slack and not desperate enough,” Ponting fumed.
“That dismissal actually says a lot to me about the mindset of this Australian team at the moment. There is no desperation there whatsoever.
“Why wouldn’t they have they had a look at it? They still have the two reviews up their sleeve. There had to be some sort of doubt there.
“Even Mitchell Starc put his head down and says ‘it is not me’ but it’s up to you to make it.
“It’s a partnership when they are together, you do whatever you can to try and save your mate. There was none of that there.”
However, Handscomb insists there is nothing wrong with the attitude in the Aussie side, instead pointing to the fickle nature of the review process as an explanation for the incident.
“DRS is random with stuff like that,” Handscomb said.
“You ask Gazza [Lyon], he thinks [it hit him] on the full and on his big toe. It’s not often anyone in the world thinks they are going to review that.”
Australia’s batsmen are desperately seeking a drought-breaking century on the final day of their Test series against India, not so much to avoid unwanted history but rather earn a much-needed confidence boost.
The Aussie batsmen are yet to score a century this summer, but will have the full day to bat against India on Monday with the hosts still 316 runs in arrears while following on for the first time in 13 years.
Australia have never gone through a four-Test home series without at least one batsman reaching triple figures, but until Monday Marcus Harris has the top score with just 79.
And while all hope of a win to save the series is gone in Sydney, Handscomb said it would be massive for someone to break the drought.
“We haven’t scored a hundred this series which has obviously been a big thing,” Handscomb said.
“If someone can come out… and score a hundred or even face 200 or 300 balls in a Test match saving knock can give us a lot of confidence going forward.
“Whoever that is… will give themselves a lot of confidence and the group a lot of confidence as well.”
Almost to a man Australia’s team have got starts without going on with it this series.
Only No.11 Josh Hazlewood doesn’t average between 20 and 40 this series from the side playing in Sydney, yet there have been only seven half-centuries hit by the Australians.
Weather permitting, Australia will likely need to survive another 98 overs on Monday after getting through the first four unscathed to be 0-6 when bad light stopped play on Sunday.
However that may be easier said than done, given only two of seven Australian innings have reached 102 overs this series.