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Handscomb backs return of Ballance

Aussie import believes his Yorkshire captain Ballance could earn a Test recall

Peter Handscomb has backed his Yorkshire skipper Gary Ballance to earn a Test recall on the back of his run-scoring feats at domestic level.

The Australia Test batsman said Ballance had adapted well to the captaincy since taking the reins from Anthony Gale.

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And the 27-year-old's incredible form – underlined by 701 County Championship runs at an average of 87.62 – has sparked speculation he could earn another chance at the top level.

Ballance's last Test appearance came against Bangladesh in October last year and he has four centuries in 21 Tests at an average of 39.25.

"He's a class player and I think he should be playing Test cricket and one-day cricket for England," Handscomb told the Yorkshire Post.

"He's been in amazing form this year and hopefully he can keep doing it.

"Obviously it's great for Yorkshire that he's staying with us, but I'd like to see him in international cricket."

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Handscomb has made a strong start to his own career at the top level, boasting an average of 54.27 after eight Tests.

He put pen to paper as Yorkshire's major overseas signing in December and has since impressed in all formats.

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The 26-year-old said he had enjoyed playing under Ballance.

"It seems like captaincy suits him well," Handscomb said. "A couple of hundreds and a double hundred at the start there, and it shows that it's not affecting his batting.

"He's quite a relaxed captain as well and is always willing to ask around to see what other people think, but then he backs his own gut and we go from there and everyone backs him in because he's got the respect of all the players."

Yorkshire coach Gale told the Guardian last month the club had prepared for Ballance's potential promotion.

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"Appointing Gary as captain was always going to be a risk for us because if he bats like he can he will definitely be on England's radar," Gale said.

"He's scoring runs in front of the England captain (Joe Root), who can see just how well he is batting at the moment.

"That's a concern for us, although we obviously want Gary to do well and progress in his career and play for England – the same with all our players.

"We are already talking about how we will fill that hole and put some plans in place, so it's not so much of a shock when it comes around."

England's next Test is against South Africa at Lord's on July 6.

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