Peter Handscomb's chances of a Test recall have taken a blow after he was sent for scans after taking a hit in a club game. Handscomb has been in superb form this season scoring 571 runs at an average of 81.5 in this summer's Sheffield Shield.
The batter was a regular in the baggy green between 2016 and 2017 before he was dropped. His last game for Australia came in 2019. Regardless, Handscomb has insisted that his Test career isn't over and has forced his way back into the reckoning with his Sheffield Shield form.
However, in a worrying blow, Handscomb was hit attempting to play a pull shot in the Victorian Super Slam on Tuesday night, before collapsing as he hit a six from a similar shot three balls later.
The 31-year-old retired hurt and, while officials are hopeful the injury is bruising and not a fracture, he was due for scans on Wednesday. Australia and Handscomb will be hoping the injury is nothing serious after he was named as part of the 18-man touring outfit for the four-match Test series against India in February.
Ever seen someone retire hurt immediately after hitting a six?
Australia's Peter Handscomb dropped to the floor after doing just that, with what appears to be a serious rib injury playing club cricket today in Melbourne. He was struck in the body earlier in the innings. pic.twitter.com/Z4vN8QggIL
— 🏏Flashscore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) January 10, 2023
Peter Handscomb recalled to Australian Test squad
Handscomb earned a recall to the squad ahead of the Tour with a number of injury concerns placing him in a good position for a starting return.
"Peter Handscomb deserves his place back in the squad," chief selector George Bailey said. "His domestic form has been strong recently and Pete has proven he can perform at Test level. His experience against spin on the subcontinent is valuable and he is also an exceptionally good close-to-the-wicket catcher."
Handscomb is seen as a possible replacement for Cameron Green, who injured himself in the Sydney Test against South Africa, with selectors keen to break-up the left-handed dominance in the top seven. The main concern is India's offspinners will turn the ball away from left-handers David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Alex Carey.
Otherwise, Handscomb may have to wait for another injury or to see if selectors stick with Head throughout the series. Head has been in imperious form at home in Australia since his return to the baggy green. However, Head struggled in his recent tours of Asia.
Aussie captain Pat Cummins has backed Handscomb as a possible replacement if he is called upon during the tour.
"He's a huge chance over in India," captain Pat Cummins said of Handscomb. "He has played really well over in Bangladesh. In India he has been there before. Even in white-ball (cricket) he has done really well there.
"Earned the right by scoring lots of runs in Shield cricket. It's always nice having a right-hander as well, we have plenty of left-handers, just as a different option."
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