Peter Handscomb admitted that the Nagpur surface turned a lot lesser than he expected and Australia were “tricked” big time on day one of the opening Test against India on Thursday (February 9).
The visitors were bundled out for just 177 in 63.5 overs, with Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin doing most of the damage. Coming back from an injury, Jadeja scalped 5/47, while Ashwin claimed three wickets to dismantle Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
The surface was expected to turn big from day one, but it didn’t, and a lot of Australian batters were undone by deliveries that went straight.
“It definitely wasn’t easy out there. It’s tough because when the pitch is playing tricks that starts to play with your mind a little bit as well,” said Handscomb at the press conference.
“The ball that doesn’t do as much you expect to do a little bit more and that’s where you can come undone with the ball that goes straight on, rather than the big turners we saw out there as well.”
Handscomb scored 31 off 84 deliveries before becoming Jadeja’s fifth victim. “It’s tough out there, Jadeja was obviously bowling very well, not really giving our batsmen a lot to hit and I found him tough to score (against).”
Handscomb is playing his first Test since January 2019 and said he is happy to be back in the red-ball set-up. “I’ve worked really hard on a lot of things on my game, mentally, tactically and on my technique as well.
“To work that hard and get the rewards to come back in, it’s a really, really nice feeling. I’m just grateful to be out there and give it a crack at time.”
In response, India were 77/1 when the stumps were drawn on day one, with skipper Rohit Sharma unbeaten on 56. Australia are already behind in the game but Handscomb said they won’t stop trying and would hope there’s some sort of a collapse.
"Once a wicket fell it was tough to start again. It gives us a lot of confidence tomorrow that if we can get on a roll we can take a clump of wickets and get the game going in fast forward.
"There'll be times when they put on a partnership again and it's going to be tough cricket, a grind, and we can control that scoreboard and our game. And then we can create something and we can try and attack and get that clump of wickets.”