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 in Indore on Wednesday but the return of Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc was “exciting”.
Cummins returned home to be with his ailing mother in Sydney after Australia crashed to their second successive defeat in the four-test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India will retain having taken a 2-0 lead.
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.
“They’re two world-class players and Pat’s our captain as well, so it’s definitely going to make it tougher… 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.”
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.”