Runs on Handscomb's mind as Shield resumes

Jason Phelan
Peter Handscomb knows he needs plenty of Sheffield Shield runs before playing for Australia again

Peter Handscomb hopes to follow the lead of former Victorian teammate Matthew Wade and force his way back into national team calculations by sheer weight of runs.

Handscomb admits he was disappointed to be left out of Australia's tour of South Africa, having been part of the touring party to India last month without playing a match.

Having reclaimed a spot in the Test team ahead of last year's Ashes series, Wade was also picked for the three ODI, three T20 tour of South Africa after playing his last ODI in 2017.

He did so on the back of three fifties and a breathtaking, unbeaten 130 for the Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.

With the Big Bash ending in more disappointment for Handscomb's Melbourne Stars, the Victorian skipper will shift his focus to the final four games of the Sheffield Shield season.

"Wadey is batting beautifully and has done now for a couple of years," Handscomb told reporters on Wednesday.

"We saw what happened when he got left out.

"I'm sure he was very frustrated but he went back, made bulk runs, and forced the selectors' hand.

"Credit to him, that was awesome and great to see.

"I completely understand (getting left out) but obviously I was still pretty gutted.

"I thought I had come back after India and played a couple of nice knocks in the Big Bash.

"But my job now is to go back to Victoria and make as many runs as I can and basically force the selectors' hand to pick me."

The bottom-of-the-table Vics need a win to keep their slim hopes of qualifying for the Shield final alive when they take on NSW at the SCG starting on Friday.

Victoria will be without Aaron Finch, who departs for South Africa this week and Glenn Maxwell (elbow surgery), while youngsters Will Pucovski and Sam Harper are also unavailable as they continue to recover from concussions.

Harper is back batting in the nets after a heavy knock running between wickets for the Melbourne Renegades last month.

But Pucovski is still recovering from his eighth concussion suffered while captaining a Cricket Australia XI against the England Lions side on the Gold Coast on February 2.