Bumrah's accuracy this series has been very impressive, says Peter Handscomb

Updated: Jan 07, 2019, 11:26 IST | R Kaushik

Australian cricketer Peter Handscomb hails India pacer Jasprit Bumrah's ability to swing the ball both ways

India pace ace Jasprit Bumrah
India pace ace Jasprit Bumrah

Peter Handscomb played himself out of Australia's Test XI for the Melbourne game with scores of 34 and 14 in Adelaide, and 7 and 13 in Perth. Such is the system currently that the Sheffield Shield first-class competition has temporarily been kept in abeyance in deference to the Big Bash League, so there is no scope for players to return to Shield cricket to brush up their red-ball skills.

Instead, turning up in the BBL for Melbourne Stars against Sydney Sixers at the SCG during the Boxing Day Test, Handscomb pressed his case with a 35-ball 70. That knock, his reputation as a top player of spin bowling, and Mitchell Marsh's continued failures, brought the 27-year-old back into the side for the final match of the four-Test series. While he didn't exactly set the SCG on fire, he did make a patient 37 before becoming Jasprit Bumrah's 21st victim of the series, chopping the ball on to his stumps off the pad on the truncated fourth day yesterday.

Handscom is bowled by Bumrah
Handscom is bowled by Bumrah

"Bumrah can crank it up to 150 kmph," Handscomb said after Australia were forced to follow on. "He is always pretty tough and his accuracy this series has been very impressive. He hasn't missed his mark too much and has been able to swing it both ways, which is quite impressive with that action and which also adds to the fact how hard he is to pick."

One of the notable features of Handscomb's batting has been that while he is quick to step out to the spinners, he is leaden-footed and crease-tied against the faster bowlers, which accounts for a high percentage of bowled and lbws against his name - he has been bowled five times and trapped leg before on six occasions in his 28 Test dismissals. In this game, he has batted a little more out of his crease than previously.

"It's just a little different place to stand on the wicket, I moved out of my crease a bit further or moved towards the crease from where I was," he pointed out. "That's something that I have been working a little bit with the coaches, trying to access my front foot a little bit more and be able to move my front foot a bit more forward and back. We have tried a couple of things and I felt pretty good this game, but it is still a work in progress. Whether I continue to do that or not, we will wait and see with some more practice."

Also read: Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah take dig at Kerry O'Keefe

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