At one stage in the second Test between Bangladesh and Australia, Peter Handscomb collapsed on the ground and needed an ice pack to be applied to his head with the physio tending to him for nearly twenty minutes. It gave an impression of Dean Jones’ heroic knock in 1986 in Madras where he felt dizzy and then vomited on the side of the pitch. Handscomb felt sick due to the sheer heat and humidity following rain leading up to the Test.
“It was just ridiculously hot,” Handscomb told cricket.com.au. “Even though the temperatures may have been late 30s, which is something we’re quite used to in Australia, because it had been raining on the days leading up to the game the heat was basically coming from underneath you, coming out of the ground because the water was evaporating. “I was just getting nailed heat-wise from both the ground and the sky and couldn’t get enough fluids in to make myself feel better, and then if I drunk a little bit too much I started to feel sick.
“We fielded first in both games, so already you’re pretty cooked going into your first batting innings. “Just standing out there in that heat, that sun – it takes it out of you.
“At each break I had to change all my clothes because they were just drenched with sweat. “I’m just a natural sweater … it was just taking it out of you and you couldn’t replace the water you were losing.”
Batting alongside David Warner and trailing the series 0-1, both willed each other forward and added 127 runs before stumps on day two of the Test. “We had a couple of sentences that we’d say to each other between overs to make sure we were switching on and focusing on each ball that was coming down,” Handscomb said.
“It was just basically ‘keep going’. Then if one of us played a poor shot or wasn’t quite on for a certain ball we’d walk down and again repeat those sentences just to make sure it wasn’t going to be the weather that was going to get us out; we had to make sure it was going to be a good ball.”
He further says he was motivated to keep going with the sheer determination of not being beaten by the heat. “It was a weird one, because as it was all going on and I was struggling in between balls, it really made me focus on every ball that was coming down,” he said. “Almost focus harder (than usual) because there was this drive to be like ‘don’t let the heat get me out, it’s got to be a good ball to get me out’.
“There was this big drive to concentrate each ball. “That helped but in between balls it was quite tough. “Trying to control the sweat and trying to cool myself down was almost impossible.”
Handscomb fell the next day for 82 while trying to steal a single to bring up Warner’s century. However, he went a bit too far and a direct hit saw him walking back. “Yeah, just backing up too far, completely my fault,” he said. “It was one of those things, obviously you want to get your mate to a hundred but in the grand scheme of things it’s one run. It’s actually quite frustrating to get out that way because if we were just relaxed we were going to get the single at some stage and I didn’t really need to back up that far to get the single.”