The pair of Aussie bolters who have screamed into Ashes contention

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

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Popular article! 16,208 reads

    Cameron Bancroft and Jake Lehmann have emerged as dark horses for the Ashes, thanks to brilliant performances in the second round of the Sheffield Shield.

    Australia’s number six and wicketkeeping positions remained wide open yesterday, with Hilton Cartwright and Glenn Maxwell yet to produce a ton this Shield season, and keepers Matt Wade, Peter Nevill and Alex Carey all underwhelming so far.

    Lehmann has now bolted in contention for the six spot with a fantastic double of 103 and 93 against a strong Victorian attack, featuring Peter Siddle, Chris Tremain, Scott Boland and Fawad Ahmed.

    Bancroft, meanwhile, did not miss a chance or even concede a single bye behind the stumps, and was also extremely impressive with the blade, putting him in contention to steal the Test positions of either opener Matt Renshaw or Wade.

    Batting against Australia’s full Test attack on a lively pitch, Bancroft carried his bat through Western Australia’s first innings to make 76* from 186 balls, before backing that up with 86 in the second innings. He has now churned out 521 runs at 87 from his past four first-class matches.

    I recently flagged Bancroft as a contender for Australia’s ODI side after he shone in the One Day competition, averaging 47 with the bat at a strike rate of 110 to go with tidy keeping displays.

    But he was a shock selection to take the gloves in this second round of the Shield, having only kept once previously in his Shield career.

    This unexpected move required WA to dump Josh Inglis, who is a fantastic gloveman and had a good Shield campaign with the bat last summer, averaging 38 from his five matches. This makes me wonder whether Cricket Australia had a say in the Bancroft move, given they are believed to have influenced several other domestic selections this year.

    With Wade, Nevill and Carey all struggling in Round 1, if CA decided to widen the field by asking WA to hand Bancroft the gloves, he could have done no more to exploit the opportunity.

    His keeping was unobtrusive, as it was during the recent domestic one dayers. That is all it needs to be to earn Test selection, as Australia clearly are more swayed by ability with the blade, and Bancroft is a quality young batsman.

    He was set to make his Test debut as an opener in Bangladesh two years ago before that tour was cancelled due to security concerns. While Bancroft struggled last Shield season, averaging 28, he made 206* in English county cricket two months ago, batted beautifully in the One Day cup and, most importantly, dominated NSW’s amazing attack.

    As the WA team collapsed around him in the first dig, Bancroft showcased his tight technique and admirable patience. In the second innings, the match situation required him to display greater aggression and he did that with ease.

    Performing so well against Australia’s Test attack in front of the national captain and vice captain, Steve Smith and David Warner, will have given Bancroft an outside chance of securing an unlikely Ashes debut.

    Cameron Bancroft

    AAP Image/Will Russell

    It would be a controversial decision to hand him the gloves considering Bancroft’s huge lack of experience behind the stumps in first-class cricket. But he did enter the domestic system as a wicketkeeper, has done well with the gloves for WA in one day cricket, and made his international debut as a keeper in a Twenty20 against India last year.

    Less controversial would be the choice to elevate Lehmann, who has an excellent first-class record of 2068 runs at 44, including six tons from 29 matches. At 3-18, South Australia looked like being blown away by the Victorian bowlers on day one of this Shield match before Lehmann took command.

    In the space of 20 minutes, the assertive left-hander changed the momentum of the match, cracking five boundaries to race to 25 from 14 balls. Then he settled into a more sustainable rhythm and guided South Australia to a solid first innings score of 322. The Redbacks were again in trouble at 3-59 when Lehmann came out in the second dig and cruised to 93 from 143 balls.

    In both innings he was in total control against pace, pulling and cutting with authority, while also confidently combating the leg spin threat posed by Ahmed.

    In terms of batting style, Lehmann has more flair and tendency to be unorthodox than Cartwright, but is less cavalier and unpredictable than Maxwell. Lehmann’s aggression at six would be balanced nicely by the dourness of Bancroft at seven.

    That is a combination which seemed extremely unlikely to appear in the Ashes just a few days ago, but one which is now a genuine possibility.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (133)

    • November 8th 2017 @ 5:59am
      jameswm said | November 8th 2017 @ 5:59am | ! Report

      I thought the Hilton might have his nose in front, but a pair in the last game certainly won’t help!

      Bancroft would be a surprise for sure. He’s by a margin the best batsman of the group. No idea if he is a sustainable keeper at test level.

      Lehmann and Bancrroft at 6 and 7 would certainly be more solid batting wise than Maxwell and Wade.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 8th 2017 @ 7:20am
        Lancey5times said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

        Picking Bancroft at 7 and lengthening the batting may allow the selectors to persist with Renshaw for a little while longer. If he does get picked it will certainly show us how highly the selectors rate Wade’s keeping.

        I’d still pick Costanza at 6. A pair against that attack shouldn’t disqualify a guy who averages 50.

      • Roar Guru

        November 8th 2017 @ 7:48am
        Chris Kettlewell said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Bancroft’s keeping actually seemed pretty good in that match. As I’ve often said, with only 6 first class keeping spots open, it can be tough for someone to get a chance, and the fact that he took the chance to play first class cricket as an opening batsman doesn’t automatically mean his keeping isn’t good. To keep neatly in two innings while carrying his bat in between and then coming out with 86 in the second innings is a very impressive effort.

        My first reaction when I found out that Bancroft was keeping was that surely that’s happened after a conversation with the NSP suggesting that with the three main candidates struggling so badly, they are looking for other options, and if Bancroft could demonstrate quality keeping to go with his batting then he was in with a good chance. If the move for Bancroft to keep was at the beset of the NSP, I’d almost have to put him as favourite for the keeping spot in the Ashes now.

        • Roar Guru

          November 8th 2017 @ 9:34am
          JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

          “If the move for Bancroft to keep was at the beset of the NSP, Iโ€™d almost have to put him as favourite for the keeping spot in the Ashes now.”

          That’s a fair point, Chris. If he performed as well as Ronan says behind the stumps then it would almost be odd for the NSP to not pick him in that scenario.

          On principle I kinda hope they don’t pick him as a keeper because (a) I hate when the NSP dictates who should be picked/play a particular role in State sides and (b) it undermines the whole notion of selecting a keeper who has demonstrated over time that they are test-ready with the gloves.

          • Roar Rookie

            November 8th 2017 @ 9:42am
            Lancey5times said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

            I think that’s is the problem though James. Which keeper has demonstrated over time that they are test ready with the gloves? And there has been a considerable amount of time since Brad Haddin moved on to stake a claim.

            One might say the selectors have been quite patient but have cracked it and decided to take matters into their own hands.

            • Roar Guru

              November 8th 2017 @ 9:54am
              JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

              Nevill absolutely has, even though he hasn’t looked 100% so far this season. Carey at least has one strong Shield season behind him. You could throw Whiteman into that list if not for injury.

              The issue with Nevill and Carey is what they will contribute with the bat. I don’t think the NSP would be too worried about their keeping ability. Bancroft can clearly bat; the problem is that he has absolutely not earned selection as a test gloveman.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 8th 2017 @ 10:15am
                Lancey5times said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                I should rephrase that. ‘Based on the selection criteria used by our panel’ no keeper has demonstrated over time that they are test ready with the gloves

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 10:20am
                The Bush said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                I don’t see why everyone thinks Bancroft will absolutely deliver with the bat over Nevill.

                Nevill has a higher FC average (by three runs). Obviously Bancroft has the biggest issue of opening, so some “slack” needs to be given there, but I just don’t see why it is an absolute given that Bancroft “will” provide more with the bat. At least not at first.

                People are making it seem like Nevill is some sort of bunny. He was in the side for 18 months, of which he had issues like the Sri Lanka tour (hardly a tour where people “shone”), the debacle against RSA (where, again, everyone above him failed) and batting at 7 against WI and NZD in a series were we barely lost any wickets, so he didn’t get a chance to score.

                The bloke knocked three centuries after being dropped, what did Bancroft score during that period?

              • November 8th 2017 @ 10:36am
                Mike Dugg said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

                Nevill’s first class average doesn’t matter obviously as he is like Henriques in that he can’t replicate it at the top level. He’s had 17 tests and averaged less than Mitch Marsh. Now that’s bad

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 10:25am
                JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

                Bush, I think their concern with Nev is whether or not he can translate his Shield form into test runs. He definitely has runs on the board domestically, he just didn’t grab his chance at the next level (although i think he was a bit harshly dealt with).

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 10:27am
                JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

                Lancey, ‘based on the selection criteria used by our panel’ I could just about get a gig keeping for the test side if they thought I would score runs! They haven’t exactly set the highest bar for glovework.

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 12:09pm
                The Bush said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                Mike,

                Not that it makes much of a difference, but Nevill actually has a higher test batting average than Marsh (albeit only by 1 run).

                Also, Nevill is the ‘keeper, not someone selected as a batsman (i.e. someone batting at number 6), so I’m not sure why there is a comparison.

                My point, as I made, is why do people assume someone with the exact same domestic record “will” do better than another. Bancroft may well go on to be a super talent, but so far his stats suggest he’s about as good with the bat as Nevill…

              • November 8th 2017 @ 1:17pm
                Rob JM said | November 8th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                Well bancroft just scored 160 runs against probably the best bowling attack in the world, while Neville score 3 hundreds lasy year on lifeless pitches where cowen and Henriques score double tons in boring draws.

              • November 8th 2017 @ 12:44pm
                George said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Nevill did quite well considering he was batting behind a farce of a number 6 for most of his stint.

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 1:54pm
                The Bush said | November 8th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

                Rob,

                You’re talking about one game by Bancroft. Selecting players or making assumptions on ability off one game is insane.

              • November 8th 2017 @ 7:22pm
                Rob JM said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

                Bush, Bancroft has 10 1st class centuries at the age of 25 opening the batting. He has 2 double centuries. He has 7 50+ scores from his last 11 innings across all formats. Over the same time period Neville has a top score of 32 from 9 innings. Sure that includes the one day tounament where Neville would have limited opportunity, but it shows how well Bancroft is going in comparison.

    • November 8th 2017 @ 5:59am
      jameswm said | November 8th 2017 @ 5:59am | ! Report

      I thought the Hilton might have his nose in front, but a pair in the last game certainly won’t help!

      Bancroft would be a surprise for sure. He’s by a margin the best batsman of the group. No idea if he is a sustainable keeper at test level.

      Lehmann and Bancrroft at 6 and 7 would certainly be more solid batting wise than Maxwell and Wade.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 8:30am
        Curious George said | November 8th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        James….agree 101%

        They love maxi and after his duble 60s he wil shove his way into the side

        also good pals with smith so prob already in

        Already waiting for Maddinson to be selected to open wth Warner

        • November 8th 2017 @ 10:37am
          Mike Dugg said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          How is Maxwell mates with Smith? Do you pay attention to the cricket?

        • November 8th 2017 @ 10:41am
          Perry Bridge said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          Need to remember – re Tests – Maxwell wouldn’t be shoving his way in – he’s the incumbent. And with a record in hostile conditions far better than other recent applicants displayed on home tracks.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm
            Mattyb said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

            I think Maxwell made the side despite not being overly close with Smith.
            Maxwell doesn’t have the greatest relationship with some of his teamates at all levels so I have no idea how someone has come to the conclusion that he is now super close with Smith.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 1:17pm
            Josh said | November 8th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

            Exactly Maxwell is the incumbent who averaged 37 across India and Bangladesh. Only Smith and Warner performed better in Warners case only just over that period. He has now come back and performed in Shield cricket. Peoole seem to judge Maxwell on his 20/20 form for his test spot whereas for others theu bemoan the selectors pucking off 20 20 form

    • November 8th 2017 @ 6:55am
      Ian said | November 8th 2017 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      Better off picking Bancroft as an opener if Renshaw can’t find form in the next match.

    • November 8th 2017 @ 7:22am
      jamesb said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      If the selectors want to dump Renshaw (which I don’t think they should), and give the gloves to Bancroft, then a possible batting line up of the top 7 could look like this:

      D.Warner
      U.Khawaja
      S.Smith
      P.Handscomb
      J.Lehmann
      G.Maxwell
      C.Bancroft (wk)

      I still prefer Bancroft as an opener, while with the wicketkeeper, I do have my hopes on Josh Ingles and Sam Whiteman. Problem there is that both play for WA. One of them might need to move interstate.

      • Roar Guru

        November 8th 2017 @ 9:37am
        JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        If Bancroft has jumped them in the queue then they could both move to Tasmania. Apparently we’re aiming to build a top 7 comprised entirely of keepers:

        Doran
        Dunk
        McDermott
        Whiteman
        Wade
        Paine
        Ingles

        That’s actually not an awful lineup, lol.

        • November 8th 2017 @ 12:10pm
          Ross said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          Lol that’s a good one

        • November 8th 2017 @ 3:05pm
          Timmuh said | November 8th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

          That is an awful line up. But at least with Whiteman there would be one keeper who can actually keep.
          Damned near the best long form bat from that lot too.
          Tassie’s side must be the weakest Shield team since Tasmania first got full time status in the 80s.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 4:05pm
            Dicky M said | November 8th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

            Whiteman should be back after the big bash…

          • November 8th 2017 @ 10:03pm
            Nev said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

            I think it is more a case of limited depth and key players out of form.

            Bailey, Doolan, Paine, Bird, Wade, Faulkner have all played test cricket. Fekete was even selected to tour Bangladesh.

            Silk was highly rated. Webster has talent. As does Doran. Rainbird is serviceable.

            But yeah, the squad looks weak.

            • November 9th 2017 @ 12:47am
              Don Freo said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:47am | ! Report

              Faulkner is not getting a game.

        • November 9th 2017 @ 12:46am
          Don Freo said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:46am | ! Report

          You’d have Wade at #7 though.

      • November 9th 2017 @ 12:45am
        Don Freo said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:45am | ! Report

        Both Inglis and Whitemnan are eligible to play for the Poms.

    • November 8th 2017 @ 7:30am
      Rob JM said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      I think Maxwell has sowed up his spot with that pair of 60s, He is an incumbent who has performed as good as anyone else at test level lately. Lehmann is probably at a disadvantage due to being the son of Boof. It would be a highly controversial selection when your dad is in that position.

      Bancroft is almost a certain starter after that performance for me. Wade is shot, Carey is not ready, and Neville is clearly on the outer with Smith. Adding Bancroft actually makes our batting line up look strong.

      The only other question is Renshaw vs Marsh for the opening position. Considering the first two test are likely to be seam friendly conditions I would prefer Renshaws over Marsh for the first two tests.

      • Roar Guru

        November 8th 2017 @ 7:57am
        Chris Kettlewell said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

        Nevill also made more mistakes with the gloves in that match than Bancroft did, to go along with dropping a relative sitter last week. So if you compare Bancroft and Nevill just on their keeping you don’t necessarily put Nevill ahead even on that at the moment. He’s been struggling with the gloves as much as the bat.

        If Bancroft or the WA selectors were the ones who just made the decision to drop Inglis and keep with Bancroft, then this performance puts him seriously in the mix. If, as I suspect, the change was at the beset of the NSP, I’d say Bancroft would now have to be the favourite. If the NSP specifically wanted to look at him as an option, and then he did that, then he’s got to have parachuted himself straight to the front of the pack.

        It was an incredible match. Having a wicket-keeper batsman carry the bat (which may be the first time ever, and if not it wouldn’t have happened many times) and also had a bowler take 2 hat-tricks in the same match for the first time in Shield history. Quite a match!

        Jake’s Dad has said he excuses himself from selection meetings where Jake is discussed. So it then comes down to the other two. It is a tough situation for him. Don’t want to view it as favouritism, but don’t want to disadvantage him because his dad is the coach either.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 8th 2017 @ 8:08am
          Lancey5times said | November 8th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

          My only worry with Bancroft keeping in the tests is whether he has the miles in the legs that the more regular keepers do

          • November 8th 2017 @ 8:26am
            nickbrisbane said | November 8th 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report

            And does he make a lot of noise!

            • Roar Guru

              November 8th 2017 @ 9:39am
              JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

              Yeah, if he was saying nothing when Smith was batting then he’s in trouble! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Roar Guru

            November 8th 2017 @ 9:07am
            Ryan H said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

            Yep this is precisely my only concern too. Especially for long-format cricket, and Bancroft has only kept a couple of times in first-class matches.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 10:07am
            BurgyGreen said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            Well we’ll have to see how he pulls up after this match – but being able to play out of his skin while being on the field for 9/10 sessions straight suggests he’ll be alright.

            • November 8th 2017 @ 12:11pm
              Ross said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

              Not sure if the commentator on ca stream for Tasmania game was talking wade up but he kept talking up how good wade love work work was

              • November 8th 2017 @ 12:12pm
                Ross said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                I meant glove work lol

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm
                Michael Keeffe said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                It was embarrassing. They were describing Wade as a World Class Keeper.

          • Columnist

            November 8th 2017 @ 2:21pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | November 8th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            My only worry with Bancroft keeping in the tests is whether he has the miles in the legs that the more regular keepers do

            Bancroft is exceptionally fit – he’s always struck me as probably the fittest player in the WA team.

            Two years ago I watched him complete a 6-hour knock of 150 against India A in Chennai in some of the most brutal conditions I’ve ever felt in my life.

            I got bad sun stroke that day from just strolling along Marina Beach for a while – yet Bancroft looked amazingly strong and fresh after 6 hours batting in that weather.

            In this Shield match he stayed on the field for the entire first 3-and-a-half days and never looked like he was struggling for energy – his batting remained crisp and his keeping neat.

            That doesn’t mean I think he’s necessarily ready to be a Test keeper, but his fitness is not what I’d be worried about if he does get the gig.

            • Columnist

              November 8th 2017 @ 3:10pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | November 8th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

            • November 9th 2017 @ 12:53am
              Don Freo said | November 9th 2017 @ 12:53am | ! Report

              More than that.He was on the field for EVERY session. Dismissed just after tea in the last session.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 8:46am
        Ben said | November 8th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        Lehman did’t have the pressure that Cartwright and Maxwell had.
        The first game he got a 6 and a 10 and next game he will be up against a strong WA attack.
        He is in the mix but behind Maxwell and Cartwright.
        I would want to see him perform on a Australia A tour before picking him.

        • November 8th 2017 @ 6:01pm
          John Erichsen said | November 8th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

          Lehmann walked to crease on the first morning with his team 3/18. In the second innings, SA were 3/59 went he walked out to bat. Cartwright was facing the music in the first innings at 1/8 but 1/179 in the second dig with a ball 47 overs old. Not sure what pressure you are imagining him to be under.
          I will agree that Jake should still be behind Maxwell and Cartwright in the pickings but he averages 40+ in first class both over his career and for the previous shield season. Runs now should have him right in the mix, but not the favourite.

    • November 8th 2017 @ 8:28am
      John Erichsen said | November 8th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      With his maiden test century not that long ago, Maxwell’s pair of 60’s should be enough to have him bat at six at the Gabba, in his first test on home soil. Both Lehmann and Bancroft have elevated their names significantly. Lehmann, in particular, will be close to test selection. Bancroft probably needs more runs after a poor shield season last summer. His keeping has been very tidy so that’s a positive for him.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 8:34am
        Curious George said | November 8th 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

        John, sadly I think you are right

        So prepare for a string of low scores and pokey, scratchy innings from “the big blow”

        predicting maxi’s scores for the series: 23, 5,6,10, 11, 31,duck, 3, 14,8

        If Bancroft sores big in the next round he is in

        Wade is shot to pieces but i reckon the panel will still pick him (no stones to gamble on a differnt person)

        • Roar Guru

          November 8th 2017 @ 9:43am
          JamesH said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

          You’re such a pessimist about Maxwell, CG (although it’s pretty optimistic to suggest that Maxy would play the whole series with those scores!).

          Maxwell has done a decent enough job in the test team – and now the Shield – recently to be afforded at least a couple more tests. The chopping and changing hurts the side just as much as picking someone who hasn’t necessarily earned the spot does.

        • November 8th 2017 @ 9:45am
          Ben said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

          He has proven you wrong and he will prove you wrong again if picked.
          He changed his technique and he did make a 100 against a strong Indian attack.
          How about predicting other players.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 8th 2017 @ 10:42am
          josh said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          Predicting Curious George’s output on the cricket field; 0.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm
            Jake said | November 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            He is the cartoon come to life. Always getting everything wrong.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 2:27pm
        ThugbyFan said | November 8th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        John, I love Maxy but I suspect the selectors want the #6 to be a batsman/medium-pacer capable of sending down 10 overs or so in a day without getting flogged, so its between M.Stoinis, H.Cartwright, M.Henriques and the smokey Jack Wildermuth from Qld. I would say Cartwright has the inside running as (a) they picked him for a test last year and (b) Stoinis is having some personal time off atm so very little game time.

        Glenn Maxwell might come into discussions for the Sydney test if they want to go with two spinners or more the extra bastman/reasonable spinner option. If Cartwright hasn’t bedded down the #6 spot by then, I would suspect it’s then between G.Maxwell, A.Agar and their golden boy T.Head. If Cartwright has some good scores, then they would likely keep him and drop a speedster (P.Cummings) for a leggie such as Adam Zampa. Lots of options and water under the bridge before Sydney, so who knows? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Roar Rookie

          November 8th 2017 @ 5:59pm
          Bunney said | November 8th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

          Did you just say the selectors are “likely to drop Cummins”?

          Zero chance. All the influential voices rate him as the best of our current pace brigade.

        • November 8th 2017 @ 6:37pm
          John Erichsen said | November 8th 2017 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

          One hopes the selectors are learning, from the failure of the “Mitch Marsh Project”, that an under-performing all-rounder batting at six, unbalances the batting order. I agree Cartwright, could be a batting number six and bowl a few overs now and then. I am not worried about his pair. Some games are like that. However, Maxwell was also in that test side, had a better series average than Hilton and did score a test hundred in India. Call me old school, but that test hundred should be rewarded. Both Glenn and Hilton were test incumbents but Khawaja was always replacing one of them and Maxi’s test ton and twin 60’s should have him ahead of Hilton’s 61 in round one. Given Maxwell’s history or questionable shot selections, if selected for the first test of the summer, selectors will be looking for the more mature, rash Maxwell. I don’t see them having much patience with Glenn if that Maxwell doesn’t turn up.

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