Peter Handscomb departs after being dismissed by Bangladesh's Taijul Islam in the first Test at Shere Bangla National Stadium on August 30, 2017. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty
Peter Handscomb departs after being dismissed by Bangladesh's Taijul Islam in the first Test at Shere Bangla National Stadium on August 30, 2017. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty

Handscomb confident he has unlocked key to Test success

PETER Handscomb hasn't shied away from his poor conversion rate on the subcontinent, where he returns with Australia A next month for a crucial tour of India.

Handscomb played four Tests in India and two in Bangladesh last year and he developed the unwanted habit of giving away his wicket after promising starts.

He averages 34.40 across his 12 innings in Asia, with only two scores in excess of 50.

Now the 27-year-old faces the prospect of returning to the subcontinent for a high-stakes, first-class tour that will help determine selection for Australia's next Test assignment in the UAE.

Handscomb knows his name is almost a certainty to be on that team sheet in October, but only if he avoids returning to old habits during the Australia A tour.

"It can be tough in the subcontinent, where there always seems to be that ball with your name on it and you can kind of feel set but something can happen and that's it," Handscomb said.

"Mentally, I'm definitely preparing to try and bat for longer times. I've had a lot of conversations about converting my starts into bigger scores and obviously that's what we need at the highest level."

Handscomb revealed he had been tirelessly working on his technique, including sending videos of himself in the nets to coach Justin Langer, and high-performance coach Chris Rogers.

The Victorian said he felt bowlers had started "to work me out", but he was determined to flip the tables once again.

"I feel like there's an improvement (in my technique)," he said.

"I feel like I've got my drive back, and hopefully I can access the ball off the front foot a bit better than what I have in previous years.

"Obviously I want to stay just as strong off the back foot - you don't want to lose those strengths - but obviously just trying to make a more complete game."

Peter Handscomb was dropped midway through the Ashes. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
Peter Handscomb was dropped midway through the Ashes. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Handscomb said he was expecting an "intense" Australia A series, as squad members fought for their chance ahead of a busy schedule - a series against Pakistan immediately followed by the Australian summer.

He added: "I think all 'A' series are pretty intense, to be fair. Guys know what's on the line.

"They know it's an amazing opportunity to show how good you are against some other really, really good players in the world.

"So I think it'll be up there in terms of intensity and the boys will be coming out hard to not only prove themselves, but also to prove there's a lot of talent in this country."

Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (capt), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth

Australia A four-day squad: Mitch Marsh (capt), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain

TOUR OF INDIA SCHEDULE

August 17 v India A ODI, Vijayawada

August 19 v South Africa A ODI, Vijayawada

August 23 v India A ODI, Vijayawada

August 25 v South Africa A ODI, Vijayawada

August 29 - Tri-Series Final, Vijayawada

September 2-5 v India A four-day, Vizag

September 8-11 v India A four-day, Vizag

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