Peter Handscomb set for subcontinent test

Peter Handscomb is looking for Australia A runs to shore up a spot in the Test team.
Peter Handscomb is looking for Australia A runs to shore up a spot in the Test team.

Peter Handscomb is trusting the advice of Graeme Hick, Chris Rogers and Ajinkya Rahane as he seeks to retain his spot in Australia's Test XI.

Handscomb is currently in India with Australia A, a trip that represents a timely chance to remind selectors of his subcontinent worth.

National coach Justin Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns will use the Australia A tour as a form guide before picking their squad for a two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Handscomb, recalled by Hohns in Johannesburg after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were stood down, shapes as a likely inclusion in the UAE touring party.

The Victorian impressed in oppressive heat in Bangladesh last year, dropping 4.5 kilograms during a gutsy Test-defining knock of 82.

But having gone almost five months without playing a game, runs for Australia A is the only way for Handscomb to guarantee a call-up.

Heavy rain in Vijayawada, which ruined the tourists' opening week and prompted organisers to shift remaining one-dayers to Bangalore, has given Handscomb ample chance to bounce ideas off Australia A coach Hick.

Prior to flying out, Handscomb was working closely with former Test opener Rogers at Cricket Australia's training base in Brisbane.

"I'm leaning a lot on Chris Rogers, who has really taken me aside and done some quality work," Handscomb told reporters in Bangalore.

"I've been learning a lot off him, which has been awesome."

Rahane, India's vice-captain and Handscomb's former Indian Premier League teammate, has also been a subcontinent sounding board in recent years.

"I love how he has the ability to play spin off the back foot really well. I've watched him, had a couple of chats," Handscomb said.

"He's a quality player and someone I've tried to emulate.

"I feel like I've refined my game and my tactics for playing spin over here."

Australia A face India A on Thursday. They will play two first-class games after the one-day series is over.

Usman Khawaja, Matthew Renshaw and Travis Head are among the other Australia A squad members in the mix for the UAE.

Australian Associated Press