Australia’s Ashes selection takes a twist

Giri Subramanian Roar Guru

25 Have your say

    The second round of the Sheffield Shield concluded on Monday and some new names have been thrown into Australia’s Ashes selection mix.

    There were few performances which stood out more than that of 24-year-old Cameron Bancroft. The wicketkeeping spot was seen as a battle between Peter Nevill, Matthew Wade and Alex Carey, but Bancroft might have put himself into contention with a pair of brilliant batting performances.

    Bancroft being an opener for Western Australia gives him an edge over the others and with Matt Renshaw struggling for runs, his chances suddenly look bright.

    The fact he scored runs against Australia’s Test attack makes it all the more impressive.

    The other young player who impressed was Jake Lehmann. Lehmann scored both a century and a fifty to make things interesting. Callum Ferguson also got an unbeaten 182 to put himself in contention.

    Glenn Maxwell will breathe a sigh of relief as he finally found some form. He scored back-to-back fifties, while Shaun Marsh also continued some good form to keep his chances alive.

    Australian captain Steve Smith scored a hundred and a fifty, while first drop Usman Khawaja did well enough to remain one of the top run-scorers in the competition.

    The team management will also be happy to see Peter Handscomb scoring runs as he is an important member of the middle order. The biggest disappointment of the first two rounds was the performance of young opener Matt Renshaw.

    Renshaw came into the competition needing runs after going through a tough period with the bat. With four failures in a row, his chances of making the Ashes squad look bleak.

    The Australian bowlers looked in fine form though, with Mitchell Starc topping the bowling charts. He became the first bowler to claim two hat-tricks in a first-class match in Australia. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon all looked in fine touch with the ball.

    mitchell-starc-cricket-australia-test-waca-2016

    (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Chadd Sayers and Jake Ball both had a good game and have been among the wickets in the first two rounds. It will be interesting to see if New South Wales will rest Starc and Cummins for Round 3 with the first Test approaching.

    Undoubtedly the biggest winners from Round 2 were Bancroft and Lehmann. The performance of Bancroft, in particular, puts pressure on the selectors to pick him ahead of Renshaw.

    Bancroft also has a double hundred in county cricket as an opener just a couple of months ago and he has been safe behind the stumps as well. He surely has emerged as the dark horse for the Ashes selection, given playing him as an opener also means Australia can play an extra batsman or a bowler at No.7.

    Lehmann played with great freedom in both the innings with the bat and scored runs freely. He puts his name up for selection and the No.6 spot might not be an as easy decision as it was thought before the start of the Shield season.

    The spot, which was seen as a toss-up between Hilton Cartwright and Glenn Maxwell, doesn’t seem straightforward. With young Lehmann showing tremendous form with the bat and Shaun Marsh also in contention, things are very interesting indeed in the lead-up to the Ashes.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • November 9th 2017 @ 3:29am
      KopaShamsu said | November 9th 2017 @ 3:29am | ! Report

      over matt renshaw?no need to temper with renshaw,leave him as he is,bancroft should come for wicket keeper,gives the australian batting solid spine,he has that ability

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 9:06am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        Well that’s an option the selectors have. Renshaw is just running out of time. He came into the shield season being out of form and has failed in the four innings he has batted in. He still has one more game before the first test, he needs to make the most of it. All the other Ashes hopefuls have got at least one good innings in the first 2 rounds. I don’t want him to be dropped either but again, will the selectors go with an opener who is woefully out of form for an important series?

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 9:31am
        JamesH said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Yep, Renshaw’s chances are definitely not ‘bleak’. He is on shaky ground but if Bancroft plays it will likely be as a keeper at 6 or 7. I doubt the selectors would pick him as both an opener and a keeper on debut.

        • Roar Guru

          November 9th 2017 @ 10:01am
          Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          Probably not now but if he fails in couple more innings ahead of the Ashes, it might be difficult for the selectors to pick him. He needs to spend some time in the middle and score some runs.

      • November 10th 2017 @ 9:02am
        KopaShamsu said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        australian selectors should not go within 10 miles of renshaw,i do not need him to make centuries,he is 22,looking at his physique he has another solid 13-14 yrs to make enough runs,he will learn it.now let him keep doing what he is doing,keep playing balls and wearing down the bowler,thats what australia needs ,to get through those crucial difficult period,if i am not making mistake,despite being out of form he played over 15 balls to make a run,in the other innings played over 100 balls to make 20,played 70 balls to make 15 runs,i would consider it as fantastic with respect to what i have seen from other “brilliant” openers australia tried,as a genuine cricket lover i would request no need to make another joe burns out of renshaw please,forget doing any experiment with him.

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2017 @ 9:43am
      Wayne said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      I swear there are about 30 Players that are playing for Australia in the GABBA Test at this rate.

      Renshaw will be fine. Saw he is getting criticised for not scoring fast enough. I am fine with him tying an end up with Warner going ballistic at other end. He values his wicket in a TEST match, how is that a bad thing?

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 10:00am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        I think Renshaw’s pace of scoring is not in question. I remember him playing a very good knock against Pakistan earlier this year. Australia have lots of aggressive batters in their line up and Renshaw batting slow is not an issue like you mentioned. The problem with Renshaw is that he needs to get some confidence going ahead of the first game. He still has one FC game ahead of the first test, so he needs to make most of it.

      • November 9th 2017 @ 12:40pm
        rock86 said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

        Yep, by all of these stories we’re going to have a massive squad taken to the Gabba.

        Also, on the other teams front, from all reports it looks like England will be adding another player to their squad later this week………………

    • November 9th 2017 @ 10:53am
      Curious George said | November 9th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

      Giri, who do you think will make Aussie XI for first test?

      Im thinking

      Renshaw
      Warner
      Khawaja
      Smith
      Handscomb
      Cartwright
      Bancroft (wk)
      Starc
      Cummins
      Lyon
      Hazelwood

      This is an XI that will win us the test. Picking Wade and MAxwell is a way to lose the test.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 11:11am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

        I think the only changes would be Maxwell for Cartwright and Nevill for Bancroft. I don’t think the selectors are going to go with Bancroft for the first test in spite of his good batting performances unless he is considered for the number 6 spot. The top order seems fine

        Renshaw (At least for the first test)
        Warner
        Khawaja
        Smith
        Handscomb
        Maxwell
        Nevill (WK)
        Starc
        Cummins
        Hazlewood
        Lyon

        Even though there are other candidates, the selectors might want to take the easy way out and choose a team similar to what I have mentioned above.

      • November 9th 2017 @ 11:14am
        Ben said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        If Maxwell got a 100 would you pick him?
        Maxwell did better then Cartwright overseas and now in Australia.
        He is in better form at the moment.

        • Roar Guru

          November 9th 2017 @ 11:16am
          Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          I think from what I can see, Maxwell has done enough to get picked for the first test at the moment. Cartwright would have to wait. Even though Lehmann and Bancroft are great talents, they most likely will not be considered for the ashes.

    • November 9th 2017 @ 11:06am
      dan ced said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

      Yep, only person who will be dropped is Wade, for Carey.. very slim chance that Sayers could pip Cummins or Hazelwood but probably not at the Gabba.

      They will give Renshaw 1 test to prove he can score runs again, they will let Maxwell have a chance on home soil, but if they fail they are a chance of being replaced by Bancroft/Cartright/Lehmann etc.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 11:14am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        I agree, Sayers or Bird will just be backup options to Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood combination. The selectors will most likely stick with the “Safe” X1 at least for the first test. They will bring back Nevill in the place of Wade (he is going through a disastrous time with the bat) and will play either Maxwell or Cartwright at number 6. Renshaw as you said will mostly start in the X1 for the first test. But again Bancroft and Lehmann are the future of Australian batting. They will surely get a go once the Ashes is done, if not picked during the Ashes.

        • November 9th 2017 @ 11:53am
          Curious George said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          Giri,

          I think Lehmann will get a start in the 4th or 5th Ashes test and replace Maxwell who by that time will hae had ducks and scores of below 10

          Wade will also have socred low and australia will have lost a test

          Also, Stokes will be back in the pommy side by 4th test and score big, like 140ish

          • Roar Guru

            November 9th 2017 @ 12:15pm
            Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

            Wade is not a sure starter anyways. It will be between Alex Carey and Peter Nevill for the Gabba. I am thinking it will be Nevill due to his experience at least for the first test. Not sure about Lehmann being picked in the Ashes series, he may be but I guess Cartwright/Shaun Marsh might get the first look in. It is interesting when NSW dropped Chris Rogers for being 35 from the state side (in spite of being the highest run getter last season) but Shaun Marsh is still in line for an Ashes selection at the same age.

    • November 9th 2017 @ 11:36am
      Curious George said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      Maxwell is the future……..of the Carribean T20 league or the pauper payday of the Bangladeshi T20 cup.

      Not Aussie test batting

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 11:58am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

        well he is one of the top contenders for the number 6 slot in the batting order and will most likely feature in the Aussie test X1 at the Gabba.

      • November 9th 2017 @ 12:02pm
        Ben said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        CG, we all know you have something personal against Maxwell and wouldn’t pick him even if he made 200.
        Selectors pick the team according to facts not personal views.

        • November 9th 2017 @ 12:15pm
          Curious George said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

          “Selectors pick the team according to facts not personal views.”

          You are kidding me right

          Clarke and the good time gang picked their mates and same thing happens with snowflake Smith and the sunshine crew

          Here is the definitive XI for Brisbane (Smith’s Picks)

          Warner
          Maddinson
          Henriques (could not even be in grade cricket)
          Smith (snowflake)
          Handscomb
          Maxwell
          Wade
          Cummins
          Starc
          Lyon
          Hazlewood

          12th man: Hughes (Dan)

    • Roar Guru

      November 9th 2017 @ 12:18pm
      Chris Kettlewell said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

      Bancroft may well have kept and opened in that match for WA, but there’s no way that he’ll get picked to both keep and open in test cricket. It would be one or the other. He was close to debuting as an opening batsman a couple of years ago before the Bangladesh tour was postponed, but now he looks most like a late contender for the keeping spot rather than the opening batting spot. Renshaw should, and I’m pretty sure will, get at least the first couple of tests. He did at least manage to spend time in the middle in the latest shield match. Hopefully he can build on that in the next one and get a bit of fluency in his batting to have some form going into the first test. But I’d be pretty shocked if the selectors dropped him. (Though I can imagine, if he struggles again in the next match, that they would probably be a little worried about him!)

      At the same time, both those first two matches were played in pretty tricky conditions. Neither team passed 200 in any innings in the Qld v Tas match, (though Qld were just 3 down for over 150 in chasing the target, so you’d have to think they’d have been able to get there in the final innings). He hasn’t had a chance to bat in some decent batting conditions yet. Hopefully he can get some batting better conditions in the next shield match to just be able to find some timing and fluency.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 12:31pm
        Giri Subramanian said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

        Yeah I would think so too. There haven’t been too many wicket keeping opening batsmen in recent times. Gilly did it in ODI’s but not many have done it in tests. I remember Nayan Mongia used to do it for India for a while and Farookh Engineer from India has done it in 48 innings. so not many, so wouldn’t assume Bancroft will be doing that in the first test. I would also love to see Renshaw open the batting in the first test and I think he will get a go at least for the first test.

      • November 10th 2017 @ 8:11am
        Curious George said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Chris, do you think Bancroft is a lock for the 1st test?

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