Indore, February 26
Australia’s Peter Handscomb believes the absence of captain Pat Cummins and batter David Warner will make life tougher when they face India in the third Test starting here on Wednesday but the return of Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc was “exciting”.
NZ frustrate England
Wellington: England snared three quick wickets with spin but New Zealand’s batters frustrated the tourists with their resistance on Day 3 of the second Test after Ben Stokes enforced the follow-on. New Zealand were 202/3 in their second innings at stumps, needing only 24 runs to make England bat again. Kane Williamson (25 not out) and Henry Nicholls (18 not out) held firm after Jack Leach triggered a batting collapse that netted 3/18. Reuters
Cummins returned home to be with his ailing mother in Sydney. Warner also flew back after suffering a fracture to his elbow and a concussion in the second Test in New Delhi, but all-rounder Green is fit again after shaking off a finger injury. Starc, who also suffered a finger injury, is set to return to action as well. “It’s going to be a big loss not having those two,” batter Handscomb said. “But we’ve got all the information we need… We’ve got the training and the facilities that we need to be ready to go for Indore and Ahmedabad. Starc is coming back from injury and Green is coming back from injury. We’ve got a couple of big ins potentially, so there’s that exciting part as well,” he added.
Steve Smith will lead the side in the absence of Cummins. He previously captained Australia between 2015 and 2018.
“He hasn’t changed too much,” Handscomb said. “It shows he’s a world-class player and he thinks about the game a lot, so he’s a good one to have under Pat. He’s obviously experienced in this situation as well. It’s not something new to him so he can just go about his business the way he normally does. He’ll be focusing on his batting first and the captaincy second,” he added. — Reuters