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Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023: Steve Smith comes to Peter Handscomb’s rescue after Matthew Hayden’s ‘un-Australian’ remark

Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023: Steve Smith comes to Peter Handscomb's rescue after Matthew Hayden's 'un-Australian' remark

Steve Smith PC. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Australia’s stand-in Test captain Steve Smith has expressed his dissatisfaction on the comments made by legendary Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden on Peter Handscomb in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023.

Handscomb went with a defensive approach with the bat, particularly in Australia’s second innings against India in the third Test in Indore. He scored 19 off 98 deliveries, which comprised of only a solitary boundary and the remaining of the runs being scored in cheeky singles. Former Australian cricket Hayden seemed unimpressed with Handscomb’s batting approach. He had gone on to label the slow-scoring by the 31-year-old as very “un-Australian”.

“He was very, very defensive with his mindset. His strike rate of under 20 means that you are not going anywhere, and the scoreboard is not going anywhere, and that’s a product of some really tough batting conditions … he was sort of like a sitting duck in many ways. It’s almost un-Australian. I don’t want anyone out there to think that I’m overly criticising Pete, I’m not. It’s just not quite attacking enough. It’s such a tricky balance,” the 51-year-old had said.

He’s been outstanding – Steve Smith comes in defence of Peter Handscomb

“I think he’s been outstanding,” the 33-year-old had said while addressing reporters in a press conference.

Smith opined that Handscomb’s innings helped the Australian batters to frustrate the Indian spinners and thus avoid another massive batting collapse, like in the first two Tests. Smith went on to mention that he has been “shocked” by some of the comments made by former cricketers about the current players in the ongoing series.

“The first two Test matches in the first innings of both and left pretty much stranded. If one of the other top seven were able to get in a partnership with him, things could certainly be different. He batted beautifully in the first two, he’s stuck to his method, he’s trusted his defence, and then scored off balls that were either overpitched or too short and played them off the back foot,” he said.

“His method has proved it’s worked in difficult conditions. So I was shocked to see some comments about the way he was playing because I think him and Uzzy (Khawaja) have probably been arguably our two best batters in this series,” he added.

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