Ahead of the historic day-night second Ashes Test against England in Adelaide on Saturday, Australia batsman Peter Handscomb on Thursday warned the tourists to be ready for more on-field verbal barbs. Since the start of the opening Test at the Gabba, the Ashes have been embroiled with verbal fireworks from either side but gained momentum once it was revealed that English stumper Jonny Bairstow headbutted Australian opener Cameron Bancroft in a Perth bar last month.
The Kangaroos used the incident to fire salvos at Bairstow on the fourth day of the Gabba Test, which the hosts won by 10 wickets.
Heading into the second game, Handscomb said Australia will continue to target the tourists with the verbal volleys.
"It's something that's part of the game, it always has been, it always will be," the wicketkeeper-batsman was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"If there's a moment that we can exploit someone's mental capabilities well then yeah, we're going to go about it.
"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," he added.
Handscomb, who shared Yorkshire dressing room with Bairstow, said there was no room for sentiment when they are representing their respective countries in a high-octane series like the Ashes.
"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.
"I'm not trying to make him (Bairstow) feel good out there. That's not my job," he added.