The Australian cricket team will return to action on June 7, when the side embarks on an all-format tour to Sri Lanka. Australia will take on the Sri Lankan side in three T20Is, five ODIs and two Tests, and the senior team’s tour will be running parallel with Australia ‘A’ touring the island nation as well. The ‘A’ team will play in two one-day games (both in Colombo; June 8 and 10) and two first-class matches (both in Hambantota; June 14-17 and June 21-24).
A familiar face will be returning to the Australian ‘A’ side for the tour of Sri Lanka – 31-year-old batter Peter Handscomb. The right-handed wicketkeeper-batter had made his Australia debut in 2016 and played in 16 Tests and 22 ODIs for the side; however, inconsistent performances led to his ouster from the side three years later.
Handscomb now returns to the ‘A’ side on the back of an impressive Sheffield Shield season, where he racked up 697 runs with an average of 49.78 for Victoria, who ended as runners-up in the competition. The 31-year-old Australian is currently leading County side Middlesex, and opened up on his mental struggles during his poor outings for Australia.
Handscomb revealed that he faced incessant criticism for his playing style on Facebook and Twitter, insisting that it was hard to “not take that to heart.”
“I found those two platforms probably the worst in terms of people having direct access to you, to just randomly sledge you and take you down,” Handscomb told cricket.com.au.
“When someone’s taking the time out to directly message you, calling you s**t or ‘How dare you be in the Australian side’ – that kind of stuff – it’s hard not to take that to heart, especially (given) I was quite young at the time.”
Handscomb, however, insists that he is better prepared to dealing with fan criticism now.
“I got off them during the Ashes (in 2017-18) and that was definitely one of the biggest things that helped,” says the Australian batter.
“Being able to either not listen to it or zone it out (is important). Which is easy to do at a state level because there’s not that much scrutiny and fewer cameras to sort of pick apart your technique.
“If that does happen again, and I am lucky enough to play for Australia again then, yeah, I think I’m better equipped to deal with everything that comes with it.”