Century star Peter Handscomb happy to hand gloves back to Bairstow

Peter Handscomb was already happy with his contributions to the Yorkshire cause in one-day and four-day cricket, but the Australian admits it was 'nice' to tick off his first century for the county on Sunday.

Century salute: Yorkshires Peter Handscomb celebrates reaching his century against Derbyshire. (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix)

Handscomb has impressed many with his measured style of batting, particularly over the last fortnight in the Royal London Cup in helping Yorkshire win four out of five group matches to sit top of the table.

The 26-year-old is the leading run-scorer in the one-day competition with 407 from five matches at an average of 101.75.

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He had posted scores of 46, 86, 47 not out and 88 prior to Sunday’s win over Derbyshire at Headingley, in which he made 140 off 112 balls. Not only was it his first century in a Yorkshire shirt, it was also the Victorian’s first List A career century.

“I’d had a couple of opportunities in the four-dayers and one-dayers, so it’s nice to tick that off,” he said.

“I’ve been pretty happy with my performances.

“I’ve felt they’ve been contributing to the game, making sure Yorkshire get the win, which is the sole job here.”

“He just ticks over doesn’t he,” said Yorkshire first-team coach Andrew Gale of Handscomb ahead of Wednesday’s floodlit game with Northants at Wantage Road.

“He’s the sort of batsman who you look up at the scoreboard and see he’s got to 40 off 30 balls and think ‘how’s he got that?’ He’s not quite as brutal as Jonny Bairstow but he goes about it in the right way. So far, he’s been really impressive.”

For the last two North Group matches, Handscomb has taken on the wicketkeeping duties with Bairstow on England duty.

Gale has preferred him ahead of regular understudy Andrew Hodd with the balance of the team in mind. Handscomb is likely to return the gloves to Bairstow at Wantage Road, with Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root and David Willey also returning.

“I prefer the field,” he said. “Keeping, and I’ve always said this, is just a second string thing.

“I do it to fill in if guys are injured or if it makes the team stronger. I’ll do it by all means. But I’ve always been a batter first.

“By no means am I trying to take Matthew Wade’s position as Australian keeper for example because he’s doing a great job, and I think it would be a poor move if I kept in front of him.

“I want to be able to get into teams and squads as a batter but if it makes the team stronger by me putting the gloves on, I’m happy to do the job.”

Handscomb has not been selected in Australia’s squad for next month’s Champions Trophy campaign, although it is worth noting that they have not selected a back-up to Wade.

If injury were to strike, Handscomb would be called in as a replacement, having been told by the selectors to “make sure I’m ready to go in case”.