Gillette ODI Series v India
Handscomb sails in to anchor one-day side
Middle-order batter keen to reprise role performed so admirably in JLT Cup against India after national recall
Sam Ferris at the SCG
6 January 2019, 11:00 AM AEST
As Peter Handscomb attempts to salvage Australia's first innings in the fourth Domain Test in Sydney, the right-hander paused for a moment to reflect on his "surprising" ODI call-up.
Handscomb was one of a handful of shock selections in Australia's 14-man squad for the three-match Gillette ODI Series against India, along with recalled veterans Peter Siddle, Usman Khawaja and Nathan Lyon.
"It was a really, really good phone call and I'm excited to get out there and hopefully help the boys," Handscomb said in a cricket.com.au Facebook Live chat.
"A little bit of a surprise but it was nice to know."
While the Victorian has copped criticism for his technique and output in Test cricket, his record in white-ball cricket this summer has been of the highest order.
Before he lit up the Sydney Cricket Ground with a blazing 70 from 35 balls for the Melbourne Stars in the KFC BBL last month, Handscomb scored 361 runs at 51.57 in eight matches as captain of the JLT One-Day Cup champions at the start of the 2018-19 season.
Handscomb posted four half-centuries in the successful campaign with a strike rate of 94.75 in his role as the team's anchor while Victoria's power-hitters, such as Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson, teed off from the other end.
Handscomb says he hasn't yet spoken to the selectors about what his role in the ODI side will be but imagines it will be similar to what he has done at domestic level.
"That's sort of the role I played for Victoria; coming in the middle order, control it, try and tick it over at a run a ball and just get the other batter on strike," Handscomb said when asked about his one-day game plan.
"Then hopefully leave a few wickets in the shed for some fireworks at the back end.
"I've been pushing my case in one-day domestic stuff and the T20 the other night out here.
"It was good to get out here and show my white-ball stuff is OK as well."
Handscomb has been a target for criticism this summer from the public, pundits and some sections of the media, with most of the negative feedback surrounding his unorthodox technique.
But the 27-year-old says he tends not to read the press and instead tries to narrow his attention on scoring runs for whichever team he's playing for.
"If I see the positive stuff then that's always a good read but there's a lot of negative stuff out there as well," he said. "I try to stay clear of it if I can.
"There are papers in our dressing room, guys doing the crosswords, so every now and then you're going to see a headline or something that annoys you but you just want to try and put that to the back of your head and focus on the job at hand."
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami
Gillette ODI Series v India
First ODI: January 12, SCG (D/N)
Second ODI: January 15, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)