Ashes 2017-18: Australia won’t stop sledging England - Peter Handscomb
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Ashes 2017-18: Australia won’t stop sledging England - Peter Handscomb

Peter Handscomb, Australia batsman, has said the Ashes hosts have no intention of halting their verbal attacks on England.

cricket Updated: Nov 30, 2017 15:20 IST
By Sacha Pisani
By Sacha Pisani
Ashes 2017-18,The Ashes,Peter Handscomb
Peter Handscomb has said Australia will continue to sledge England as they look to go 2-0 up in the Ashes series. (AP)

Peter Handscomb insisted Australia will persist with sledging as they look to take a 2-0 series lead against England in the Ashes.

Australia targeted England’s batsmen during their 10-wicket rout in Brisbane amid the fallout over touring wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, who headbutted Cameron Bancroft before the Ashes got underway.

(Read | Ashes 2017-18: England need to get into the swing in Adelaide day-nighter)

The incident, which was confirmed by Bairstow and Australia’s debutant Bancroft but played down by both following day five of the opening Test on Monday, dominated headlines as England were left to pick up the pieces.

And Australia batsman Handscomb said the hosts have no intention of halting their verbal attacks on England when the day-night Test starts in Adelaide on Saturday.

(Read | Steve Smith’s wicket crucial for England’s Ashes chances: James Anderson)

“It’s something that’s part of the game, it always has been, it always will be. If there’s a moment that we can exploit someone’s mental capabilities well then yeah, we’re going to go about it,” Handscomb told reporters.

“There are moments you pick and choose and obviously the right words. There’s a line and we’ve just got to make sure we don’t cross it.

“I’m not trying to make him [Bairstow] feel good out there. That’s not my job.

(Read | Ben Stokes signs for New Zealand’s Canterbury in new Ashes twist)

“When I played with him at Yorkshire we had a great time together. I really like Jonny, we got along really well but it’s a different ball game now.”

Bairstow escaped punishment over the incident in Perth as England rallied around the 28-year-old.

Veteran pace bowler James Anderson, who finished with figures of 2-50 and 0-27 at the Gabba where he seemingly suffered a shoulder injury, believes the saga has galvanised England.

“Australia were fairly quiet for the first few days when we were doing well. It was only on the fourth day when they became more vocal,” the 35-year-old said.

“They waited until they were ahead in the game to do it. If anything it will galvanise us as a group. If we need any more incentive to get back in the series, it will give us that.”

“It’s [sledging] something I’ve always enjoyed. When someone is trying to get under my skin in all walks of life it makes me more determined,” Anderson added.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 15:20 IST