Peter Handscomb set for Australia’s Test tour India despite hip injury

Victorian captain Peter Handscomb is set to take his place on the Indian tour despite scans confirming soft tissue damage to his hip.

Handscomb was this week named in the 18-man Australian squad for the four-Test series after he suffered a hip injury playing club cricket on Tuesday night with St Kilda.

He was sent for scans that revealed some soft tissue damage to his right hip.

While his recovery will be monitored closely over the coming weeks, at this stage team officials expect him to be fit to travel with the Test squad to India as planned on January 31.

Australia is already taking injured all-rounder Cameron Green and fast bowler Mitchell Starc to India, with Starc ruled out of the opening Test after having surgery to repair his finger.

Handscomb played the last of his 16 Tests against India in 2019.

He’s the leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield this season and is regarded as a terrific player of spin. He’s also seen as a potential back-up keeper.

Test star Steve Smith said Handscomb being a right-hander in a squad littered with left-hand batters could play in his favour in earning a recall during the series.

“Fingers crossed he’s all right. Pete gives us a few options,” Smith said.

“He’s kept wicket as well and his ability play spin really well as a right hander, we have a lot of left-handers there, and he brings a lot of experience to the team.”

National selection chief George Bailey is confident the 31-year-old will be OK to play.

“He’s confident it’s nothing too serious, a bit of a mishap,” Bailey said.

“He copped a ball on the back hip and then three balls later he dispatched one (for six) and just felt something give a little bit in there.

“Clearly, there’s still quite a bit of time between now and when we depart and then even when the first Test is.”

The first Test is in Nagpur on February 9.

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