Should the selectors punt on Cam Bancroft as ‘keeper?

Glenn Mitchell Columnist

By Glenn Mitchell, Glenn Mitchell is a Roar Expert

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344 Have your say

    Adam Gilchrist changed the way we look at wicketkeepers in Australia and it has little to do with what he did with the gloves.

    In 96 Test matches he amassed 5570 runs, compiled 17 centuries and averaged 47.6.

    He finished his career with a then Test world record 416 dismissals.

    His predecessor, Ian Healy, previously held the record of 395 dismissals.

    The general consensus is he was a better gloveman than Gilchrist.

    With the bat, however, he was vastly inferior – 4356 runs at 27.4 with four centuries in 119 Tests.

    Australia’s third most prolific ‘keeper, Rod Marsh (355 dismissals) played the same number of Tests as Gilchrist, scoring 3633 runs at 26.5 with three centuries.

    They were both seen as very fine contributors with the bat despite averaging less than 28.

    After Gilchrist, those numbers are largely seen as unacceptable.

    Gilchrist’s successor, Brad Haddin, averaged 33.0 through his 66 Tests.

    While it was a far cry from Gilchrist’s mark, it is markedly superior to the two men who have donned the gloves since he retired.

    Through 22 Tests, the incumbent Matthew Wade averages 28.6 while Peter Nevill’s 17 Tests have produced an average of 22.3.

    After being recalled to the Test side last November – at the expense of Nevill – Wade has played 16 innings, scored one half-century (57) and averaged 20.2.

    Matthew Wade

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Those numbers have had him under the microscope ahead of this month’s first Ashes Test.

    With three rounds of Sheffield Shield matches ahead of the Gabba Test it appeared to be a race in three as to who would be behind the stumps – Wade, Nevill or uncapped South Australian Alex Carey – with all three men having their supporters.

    A quarter of the way through the third game the waters are as muddy as they were before the first ball was bowled this Shield season.

    Wade, returning to his native Tasmania, has failed dismally with the blade with a meagre 38 runs from five innings.

    Nevill has batted three times for scores of 20, 32 and 11 not out.

    Carey has made 12, 4, 36 and 20.

    None of the threesome have made a solid case for inclusion.

    Each has spilled catches as well, further adding to the selection fog.

    It provides a quandary for the selectors, especially given the numerous top order batting collapses that have plagued Australia’s Test performances in the last few years.

    Matthew Renshaw and Peter Handscomb have done little by way of big scores leading into the Ashes series.

    Both men – who debuted at Adelaide last summer against South Africa – have struggled to make an impact in Shield ranks this season.

    Matt Renshaw bats during a test match against India

    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

    Each has batted five times with Renshaw averaging 18.8 and Handscomb 28.8.

    Both are expected to play at Brisbane but their modest lead-in form will add further concern to the selectors with respect to the ‘keeping position.

    The poor showing by Wade, Nevill and Carey has resulted in another name being thrown up – Western Australian opener, Cameron Bancroft.

    He went to stumps yesterday after the opening day at the WACA against South Australia on 161 not out – a chanceless knock until he was dropped off Travis Head’s bowling when he was on 104.

    That innings comes on the back of an outstanding match double last start against New South Wales at Hurstville Oval.

    He was confronted by the quartet that will form Australia’s bowling attack at the Gabba – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

    He carried his bat in the first innings, scoring 76 in a team total of 176 and followed up with 86 in WA’s second innings 223.

    Bancroft also kept wickets for the Warriors in that match and by all accounts outshone Nevill behind the stumps.

    He will keep again in the current match against the Redbacks.

    From a rank outsider three weeks ago, he is now very much in the frame for the wicket-keeping role at the Gabba.

    But, just how big a risk would it be for the selectors to back him in?

    Effectively, in recent years, Bancroft has been his state’s third string ‘keeper.

    The Warriors’ number one gloveman is Sam Whiteman, a player many have feel is among the very best wicketkeepers in the country.

    He suffered a badly broken finger while keeping to Mitchell Johnson in last summer’s BBL final.

    He has twice undergone surgery and will not play this summer.

    In his absence, Josh Inglis was picked for WA’s first Sheffield Shield match of the summer, having made his first-class debut last summer.

    He too suffered an injury and for the Warriors’ second game, Bancroft was chosen behind the stumps.

    He is no stranger to wicket-keeping, having done so for WA in limited form cricket as well as the Scorchers in the BBL – although often on both accounts when Whiteman was sidelined.

    Bancroft made a shock T20 international debut against India at the SCG in January last year.
    But, in first-class ranks he has hardly been sighted with the gloves on.

    The current match at the WACA Ground is Bancroft’s 49th Sheffield Shield match.

    Cameron Bancroft

    (AAP Image/Will Russell)

    It is also just the third time he has been behind the stumps following his performance last week against New South Wales and a stand-in role for an injured Whiteman in March 2016.

    The selectors now have to weigh up whether Bancroft should be elevated to the role at Test level.

    In years gone by it would have been a no brainer.

    The thought of selecting a state’s third string wicketkeeper with just three games behind the stumps in 49 Shield matches for a Test match would have been unthinkable.

    However, in this post-Gilchrist era it is a distinct possibility.

    The wicketkeepers role was long seen as a specialist position where a player was required to do the hard yards for many a year, like Haddin, before getting the nod.

    Nowadays, how you handle a bat can be seen as almost as important as to how you glove the ball.

    We will find out soon just how the selectors view the country’s wicket-keeping stocks.

    Safe to say, we live in interesting cricketing times.

    Glenn Mitchell
    Glenn Mitchell

    After 21 years as a sports broadcaster with the ABC, since mid-2011 Glenn Mitchell has been freelancing in the electronic and written media. He is an ambassador for mental health in Australia, and tweets from @mitchellglenn.

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    The Crowd Says (344)

    • November 14th 2017 @ 4:51am
      Andrew said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:51am | ! Report

      Surely we should take the punt. He is the only player making a ton of runs going into a team prone to bad collapses. We need a player that can stop the rot. How many times we lost 5 or more for not many? Wade and Neville currently are a liability. If one of them had shown something you could pick them but consistent failures forces change.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 7:52am
        George said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        Nevill scored 3 tons last summer and this season he has been out twice so far – for 20 and 32. Helluva liability batting at 7…

        • November 14th 2017 @ 8:08am
          Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

          Nevill’s a decent bat and is outperforming Wade and Carey with the blade.

          But Bancroft is clearly superior.

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Chris Kettlewell said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          Nevill has certainly done better with the bat than Wade and Carey and hasn’t had as many chances, but my biggest worry with him is that, despite so often hearing those suggesting he should be selected talking of him as some really reliable keeper, he keeps making way too many mistakes.

          In the 5 innings he’s kept so far, he has already dropped a couple of catches, and I’ve seen him get nowhere near collecting a standard off break from Lyon that then went for 4 byes – sure it gripped and spun past the edge, but someone considered a top quality keeper should easily have taken that – and again in this match I’ve seen him completely frozen as an edge flew between him and first slip, comfortably closer to him and definitely a keepers catch, so it doesn’t go down as a drop, but it was a catch that any decent keeper should have taken. I’ve seen 2-3 of them so far this season also, and haven’t watched close to all of his keeping for the season.

          I don’t see him as a reliable keeper. And I can’t see him making less mistakes behind the stumps than Bancroft. If Bancroft is chosen, any little error he makes with the gloves will be highlighted by critics as examples of how we should have gone with a more pure keeper, but the pure keeper that is mostly being pushed is making more of those sorts of mistakes than anyone. I’d say that Wade is probably making less keeping mistakes than Nevill at the moment.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 9:25am
            Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

            Chris if that’s the case, Bancroft is ahead of Nevill.

            That would make it a choice between Bancroft and Carey. How good has Carey’s keeping been these first few games?

            • Roar Guru

              November 14th 2017 @ 10:57am
              Ryan H said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

              Probably not as sharp as usual, he missed a clear stumping chance at the MCG last week

          • November 14th 2017 @ 9:50am
            George said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

            Is there evidence that he makes ‘way’ more mistakes than Wade or Carey or Bancroft? Or does that notion merely fit the narrative that people would prefer him to be an uber-aggressive ‘hitter’ like Haddin with little or no game sense?

            Nevill’s keeping has been regarded as high quality for almost a decade. Bancroft keeps for a few first-class games and his ability is equivalent?

            • November 14th 2017 @ 9:59am
              Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

              If it’s even close, Bancroft gets the gig due to his superior batting. And that’s how I see it right now.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:33am
                George said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

                Yes I can sort of understand that view. Perhaps one that stems partly from uncertainty over No.6 slot?

              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:25am
                Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

                Yeah maybe. Maybe if we had MHussey at 6 you don’t worry so much about who bats after him.

                But in any case – Bancroft is close to selection as a specialist batsman, so picking him as a keeper gives great depth to your team. And that’s what you’d do regardless, if there wasn’t much between their keeping. If Nevill was a clearly better gloveman, he gets the gig.

              • November 15th 2017 @ 7:47pm
                JoC said | November 15th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

                And that’s part of Wade and Neville’s problem. We haven’t picked a specialist bat at 6 for a while. This persistence of an all rounder has weakened our batting, leaving too much responsibility on the keepers batting. I imagine if M Hussey or D Martyn were batting 6, Neville and Wade would’ve performed better.

                For a long time, when Australia were 4 down, they were 6 down not long after.

              • November 15th 2017 @ 8:51pm
                Don Freo said | November 15th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

                Damien Martyn always batted at 4.

                Marsh and Maxwell haven’t played a lot of tests. Are you blaming them for the keepers’ failures even when they didn’t play?

              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:34am
                Basil said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                That’s was the rationale behind Mennie being picked over Bird, and the selectors got smashed for it.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 12:11pm
                Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                Yeah but the difference there was Bird was (and is) a clearly superior bowler.

            • Roar Guru

              November 14th 2017 @ 11:55am
              The Bush said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

              Yeah this is what I don’t understand, Nevill has been doing it 10 years plus at FC level and has been highly regarded throughout, but now people want to suggest that a part timer is even close to the standard? I just can’t see it… But you never know. In any event Bancroft is on the verge of being picked as a batsman anyway (though I look forward to seeing Lehmann bat again).

              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:12pm
                Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

                Bancroft has been highly regarded as a keeper since U13s so that is over 10 years too. 8 of those years has been at Australian U19s or ODD and FC cricket.

          • November 15th 2017 @ 2:29am
            Guru murthy said | November 15th 2017 @ 2:29am | ! Report

            If Cameron Bancroft is Picked as a wicket keeper batsmen , As you said , any little error would be highlighted by the critics .
            The likes of wade , Nevill and Carey have not done well with the bat . Tim Paine did score a half century against a quality bowling attack albeit tour game against England .
            Doesn’t Tim Paine deserve one more opportunity to play test matches for Australia?

            • November 15th 2017 @ 2:59pm
              matth said | November 15th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

              Another half century today for Paine.

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 9:40am
          JamesH said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          The bigger concern with Nevill is that his keeping hasn’t exactly been top notch so far this season. That was the area where he had his nose in front of Wade but maybe his confidence is down a bit. If Bancroft is gloving them better and has the fitness for test cricket (and by all accounts he is an endurance machine) then it’s hard to see him not being selected.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 9:51am
            nickbrisbane said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

            The test should be whether he can keep competently to Lyon

            • November 14th 2017 @ 10:24am
              rl said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

              100% agree. Bancroft may well be a long-term option, but imagine the uproar if he missed a crucial dismissal off Lyon? Yes, Wade or Neville may also, but you’d imagine the risk of Bancroft missing one at this early stage of his keeping career is far too high, let alone in an Ashes series. If it was a dead rubber, possibly worth a punt.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:40am
                George said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                Yep. Nevill’s experience in this regard overlooked because an opener has returned to form and happens to have kept in one first class match.

              • Roar Guru

                November 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm
                Cadfael said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Agree but Rod Marsh easn’t known as Iron Glovesfor nothing when he came into the test team, he improved as he went on.If Bancroft is picked, he has to bat at 7. Lehmann has looked the goods so far this season and wouldn’t go astray at 6.

                Sadly, I see the top 7 being the same as played against Bangladesh in the last test except for Uzzi in for Cartwright.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 1:11pm
                Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                Nah my money is on Wade being out. No.7 between Nevill and Bancroft.

              • Roar Guru

                November 14th 2017 @ 10:28pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

                What I do fear for Bancroft is that there would be a lot more scrutiny of any mistake he made. Nevill makes mistake after mistake but nobody questions him being a highly competent gloveman, yet if Bancroft made some of the exact same mistakes Nevill is making having been picked in the test team I can imagine all those who jump up and down about picking a “pure keeper” would be instantly on his case, even if he doesn’t make any more mistakes than the others.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:28pm
                Brendon the 1st said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:28pm | ! Report

                Yeah but if he scores a ton, all will be forgiven, swings and roundabouts.

                Bancroft more, almost has to be in the team on for alone.

              • November 15th 2017 @ 4:38am
                armchair expert said | November 15th 2017 @ 4:38am | ! Report

                Bancroft is the same age as Healy when he débuted in test cricket and those 3 1st class games by Bancroft as keeper is about the same as Healy at that stage, just saying.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 5:19am
      Ezza said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:19am | ! Report

      Great article Glenn. Provided a conundrum young Bancroft hasn’t he?
      I’ve witnessed merely a sample of Cameron’s keeping but I think he’s performances have been sound. I haven’t seen a shocker from him as yet, and according to himself he’s kept wicket all the way up to state level. I really think he’s on par if not better than Wade but maybe Nevill has him covered by a whisker.
      The form Cameron is in with the bat puts him 20+ runs per innings ahead of Nevill and 30+ ahead of Wade so he’d have to have a shocker behind the stumps to be outperformed by either of those two in my opinion. Conundrum is ….. he has to open doesn’t he? He’s been marvelous against the new ball, would compliment Warner,frustrate the attack with his defence plus make that right/left combination everyone seems to like.
      So it comes down to Renshaw in my opinion. Who just quietly is having a shocker at the moment. Someone needs to look the selection committee in the eye and ask who they think scores more runs in the first test, Renshaw or Bancroft? All the talk of form form form, Time to put up or shut up and pick Bancroft. If you read this Matt Renshaw be honest with yourself stay in the shield and bang the door down like Cameron has because we can’t be giving the poms an easy wicket at the top of the order like you would at the moment.
      Let Maxwell/Cartwright know Mitchell Marsh is staring down number 6 while you’re at it.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 7:54am
        George said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        One innings and Mitch Marsh gets a mention? Sheesh. A complete failure at No.6.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          Have you watched this season? Averaging 168 in the JLT comp too. To score over 330 in 4 innings is pretty sustaned form.

          That is no T20 slogathon.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 9:23am
            Deir-ba-zor said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

            He has been a complete failure every time he has been called up, enough is enough.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 10:42am
            George said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            MM is good in one-day cricket and can score quickly, granted. Would love to see some sustained first-class batting excellence before he’s even considered for a recall. Scoring three Shield tons like Nevill did last summer would be a start…

            • November 14th 2017 @ 11:14pm
              Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:14pm | ! Report

              He is on that pace already. Have you been following this season? It’s worth watching, George.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 11:29am
            Brian said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:29am | ! Report

            Him batting himself at 4 – he’s captain atm for some reason – with a sub-30 average is a disgrace, same with Head bowling himself to look like an all rounder. Mitch has no defensive game, he plays with hard hands and prays the wicket is flat. He might do OK against Zimbabwe, but we saw even the might of the West Indies were too much for him.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 1:35pm
              George said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

              ‘Mitch has no defensive game, he plays with hard hands and prays the wicket is flat.’


              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:16pm
                Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

                Which were the flat wickets in the JLT where he averaged 169? Why didn’t other players do that?

              • November 15th 2017 @ 3:00pm
                matth said | November 15th 2017 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                Don, we all know Marsh is a brilliant white ball player. That has never been in dispute. The JLT Cup is only slightly relevant to this discussion.

              • November 15th 2017 @ 3:15pm
                Don Freo said | November 15th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                Totally relevant. It indicates the form he is in now. What is less relevant is his career average or reference to how he has played before this year.

                I am not for one minute suggesting he should be in the Test side. I just reject the blanket criticism. Such criticism is the language of the sofa, the bar and the keyboard, not the language of cricket.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 9:17am
          qwetzen said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          “One innings and Mitch Marsh gets a mention? Sheesh. A complete failure at No.6”

          So in one sub-thread you’re supporting a recall of the failure Nevill and in this one you’re sneering at a MM recall because he’s “a complete failure”. Nice consistency.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 10:43am
            George said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            Nevill was not a complete failure in my book – and I’m not alone in believing he should not have been dropped. Apart from a difficult Test in SL he kept very well for Australia. And made some half centuries.

            MM, on the other hand, batted woefully, destabilised the batting order from 6 down.

            summary: I think Nevill was dealt with harshly, and that Marsh is a joke of a top six Test batsman.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 1:05pm
              qwetzen said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

              And you are perfectly entitled to your opinion. However, stating that MM “destabilised the batting” *and* that a #7 who averaged (a stodgy) 22.3 after 23 innings and was nothing special with the gloves was treated “harshly” means that your opinion has more comedic value than anything else.

              Woo hoo. Nevill out cheaply to Swepson at ABO as I type!
              And Renshaw has just bowled his first ball in the Shield. It’s rubbish.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 1:37pm
                George said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                The fact the top six (rounded out by hard-handed hitter) collapsed constantly didn’t help Nevill any. As it was he made two hard-fought 50s for which he got no credit whatsover. Smith pushed him out because his limited captaincy demands a sledger for some reason.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 5:51pm
                qwetzen said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                If you’re of the belief that the top 6 collapsing “constantly” didn’t help Nevill any then you’re going to look a bit silly by not applying the same excuse to #6.

                And if you *must* be a Nevill apologist you really should get your ‘positives’ right. Nevill got three Test 50s, not two, all of which his stodgy and somewhat limp batting style made look “hard-fought”. He needed to score runs in those Tests too because he conceded a mess of byes. 26 to be precise. Whereas the collective opposition back-stoppers, Buttler, Wattling & de Kok, none of whom are regarded as highly as Nev the Myth, conceded 6 less.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 8:09pm
              Isaac said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

              The inconsistency is to say marsh has been a failure but that Nevil has been treated unfairly. He played 17 tests didn’t keep to what people claim he does in shield Aswell batted porely. He may have score three hundreds in shield cricket but at the same time hardly passed 25 in test cricket. This highlights the weakness of shield cricket. You actually have to measure the players performances against quality opposition. The people carrying on about Sayers and last year (mennie pre his failure) both have really only done well in shield cricket in years when the test players don’t play!!

        • November 14th 2017 @ 3:58pm
          Ezza said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

          I rest my case… Renshaw out for 1.
          So we’re going to pick him to open the innings with Jimmy Anderson swinging it on a usually livelyish gabba wicket? Usman may as well walk out with him .
          Prediction 8th ball of the spell gentle out swinging ball from Jimmy **Schnick** Aus 1 for 4 Renshaw trudging to the pavillion. Cannot pick an opening bat in this dreadful form surely??
          Maxwell (just)
          Nevill (just)

      • Roar Rookie

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:04am
        Lancey5times said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        Why does he need to open? Seems like a good guy to deal with a potential 2nd new ball at 7. Don’t forget Mike Hussey was a prolific state opener who batted pretty well down the order at international level

        • November 14th 2017 @ 8:11am
          dangertroy said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

          Yep, no reason he needs to open. The other advantage of him keeping and batting at 7, is it lets them pick a dasher at 6. Someone who can counterattack with the knowledge there is a solid batsman behind them if they doing something stupid. If only we could find a batsman like that.

          • Roar Guru

            November 14th 2017 @ 9:42am
            JamesH said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

            I’d be tempted to put him at 6 and play Maxwell at 7. Suddenly our lower-middle order doesn’t look so flakey.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 8:11am
          Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

          Agreed Lancey. Bancroft at 7 is a serious luxury. Renners gets the first 2 tests. He’s been facing a lot of balls, which is why he was picked. And Warner is backing him.

          You can’t have Bancroft keeping and opening. It’s too much. He needs a break when he comes off.

          I didn’t realise he kept all the way to state level. If it’s true he was on a par with Nevill keeping wise last game, it becomes a no brainer. What great support to our middle and lower order to have a guy at 7 who could average 40-45 in tests. We’re lucky to get 35 from no.6 at the moment.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 9:04am
            Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

            Enough of us have have been talking about his keeping background.

            He is a genuine keeper and a brilliant fieldsman. He won’t be making mistakes with the gloves.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 9:15am
              Broken-hearted Toy said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

              He’s supersonic close in. Very sticky hands.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                qwetzen said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                Not of the Tim Zoehrer variety I hope…

          • Roar Rookie

            November 14th 2017 @ 9:44am
            Dogs Boddy said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

            he may have kept all the way to state level, but wasn’t considered good enough to keep once he got there. That should tell you something right there.
            If you want him to play pick him as a batsman, and take a specialist keeper.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 10:00am
              Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

              Clearly it wasn’t that he wasn’t considered good enough. If that was the case, he wouldn’t be keeping for WA now.

              He just had Whiteman in front of him.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 4:29pm
                Darren said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                If Whiteman was in front of him doesn’t that mean he wasn’t good enough to be the state’s keeper?

              • November 14th 2017 @ 6:33pm
                Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

                Darren, are you reading no one’s comments? That’s weird for a discussion/opinion site. People have addressed this hackneyed comment so many times (I’ll bet you thought you were original).

                Bancroft is good enough to keep for every state. It just meant that when he got picked there was already a keeper in the side doing well enough. In Bancroft’s case, Whiteman was better. Second best in WA is also second best in Australia.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 8:44pm
                Darren said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:44pm | ! Report

                I read them all Don. It’s a pretty simple fact he wasn’t selected as keeper for his state so he wasn’t good enough to be state keeper. I can’t see how that is so difficult.
                Keeping for any other state is just hypothetical.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 8:51pm
                Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

                It seems awfully difficult for you. Keep reading, you’ll catch on.

                Your argument is a bit like suggesting that Jackson Bird or Usman Khawaja are not good enough to play for Australia because sometimes they get left out of the team.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:13pm
                Darren said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

                If you weren’t selected for the job it means you weren’t good enough – it doesn’t matter how good you are.
                Bird is rarely good enough to play for Australia – usually only when someone is injured or rested. Khawaja, based on selection, is not good enough to play in the sub-continent. It’s a pretty simple concept why are you making it so difficult.
                Bancroft should play at the Gabba but not as the keeper.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:18pm
                Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

                There is no better keeper. They are all fumbling. Bancroft is the best keeper available. Whiteman might be better but he is indisposed. Get it?

                Forget the fact that he bats well. He keeps better than Nevill. He keeps better than Wade. He makes less mistakes than Carey. He is the best available keeper. I am not talking about his batting.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 6:25pm
                Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

                Umm no, clearly. He’s good enough to keep for WA, they just had someone they thought was better.

                You don’t get that? You can only have one keeper. Tassie have about 3 who are good enough, and they give the gloves to the worst of the 3.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 10:10am
              Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

              There is something wrong with the way you think, Dog’s Boddy.

              You’ve added 2+2 and got 7. Jameswm’s response should explain things…although Chris and others have tried as well.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 10:20am
              rock86 said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

              The only reason he didn’t don the gloves is because they had Whiteman, which many consider the best gloveman in this country. Otherwise he’d be behind the stumps in pretty much any other domestic state team.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 14th 2017 @ 10:31am
                Dogs Boddy said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                If that is the case then he would have gone to another state to play wouldn’t he??

                Gilchrist couldn’t get a run in NSW because Phil Emery was already there and considered better. So he moved to WA and ousted Tim Zoeher and the rest is history.

                If Bancroft considers himself a test keeper he would chase that. If he was good enough to upseat a better keeper then he would. Being happy to be your states 3rd string keeper is not something I would consider a positive.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:26am
                Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                He didn’t need to go to another side because he was doing well playing as a batsman in WA.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 2:16pm
                matth said | November 14th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                I’m pretty sure Bancroft would have been just as happy as a non-keeper opening the batting for Australia. that was what he was set to do in 2015 before the Bangladesh tour got cancelled. He then hit an untimely slump. I believe if we are not comfortable having him keep then in the form he is in he can take either the 6 spot or the opening spot.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 10:28am
              13th Man said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

              No just that Sam Whiteman (who is the best gloveman in the country) was even better. Most other states Bancroft would get a look in.

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 9:02am
          Chris Kettlewell said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          Yes, they definitely wouldn’t get him to open and keep at test level. If he’s picked as a keeper he’s batting at 7. But as you say, having someone who has opened regularly coming in at 7 when he potentially has to handle the second new ball regularly is a good thing.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 11:51am
          AJ said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          I heard Justin Langer say that if you can open, you can bat anywhere.

          • Roar Guru

            November 14th 2017 @ 3:07pm
            Red Kev said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

            I dare say one M Hussey would agree with that assessment as well.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 5:31am
      Kopa Shamsu said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:31am | ! Report

      Bancroft all day,but thats not based on today’s performance.heard mitch marsh made 95?must be a concrete road with a plastic topping.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 8:13am
        Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        Why didn’t the others score runs then? Mitch is rocks and diamonds, like his brother.

        Cartwright, Stoinis and Turner all got starts then got out.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 9:05am
        Chris Kettlewell said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        This innings was a good innings backing up from the last match. To me, his performance against the Australian test attack on a tricky pitch where he carried his bat through their first innings as his team mates fell around him was the most impressive innings by anyone other than Khawaja in the Shield season to this point. But to back it up the next match and be 150+ not out at stumps on day one is a great effort. He can hang in through tough conditions and cash in when the conditions are better for batting. Both of those things are good.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 9:28am
          Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          Yep – that double against NSW as they ripped through everyone else, then a 150no next game, he couldn’t really do more, could he?

          It also says something when people perform when the spot’s up for grabs. Cartwright and Maxwell spoken about for no.6, have both scored a 60 and 30 and failed. Lehmann who was a longer shot scores big twice.

          Those guys are under the microscope again this game. It’s a 3-way shootout for no.6 if you ask me. Cartwright’s pair couldn’t have come at a worse time.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 11:22pm
        Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

        It’s available to watch Kopa. If you did, you might be able to treat that blind prejudice.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 6:00am
      Mike Dugg said | November 14th 2017 @ 6:00am | ! Report

      Smith and Ussie are the only ones in our top 7 that are in form. Warner not so bad. Need Bancroft there for sure.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 9:24am
        Ross said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        We are going to be heavily relied on smith and ussie getting runs for us

        • November 14th 2017 @ 9:29am
          Jameswm said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          Not Warner? What does he average in Australia?

        • November 14th 2017 @ 11:26pm
          Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:26pm | ! Report

          The English attack is a few cogs weaker than most state attacks. The Greatest Ever Pom, Jimmy, has no taste for a contest in Oz. Stuey has to go it alone and he would rank behind the top 10 bowlers in Oz.

          This will be a stats fest.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 6:53am
      Stuart Bywater said | November 14th 2017 @ 6:53am | ! Report

      Bancroft is better credentialled as an opener rather than as a keeper. Roarers made arguments supporting Bancroft’s Test selection were given in the Roar yesterday in the article “Selectors to pick Ashes XI on Wednesday.”

      To state that Healey was a better keeper than Gilchrist, merely repeats a furphy. The latter took 21 more dismissals in 23 fewer Tests.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 8:09am
        qwetzen said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        I don’t see how the selectors can *not* pick CB at present. He’s in tremendous form with the bat, he looks a good keeper and his two main rivals have both had extended stints at the Test spot and failed. Unless he has a mare with the gloves in SA’s 1st dig then he should get the gloves in T1.

        CB ‘keeping trivia: He’s yet to concede a bye in the Shield (570 runs).

        Speaking of byes… I saw Nevill concede some quite badly at ABO yesterday. In fact he conceded 10 (183 runs) on a perfectly good pitch. Hmmmm.

        Season Byes/Runs: Wade 1.25%, Nevill 1.59%.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 9:08am
          Don Freo said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          The thing is, the other candidates need to know that what they have done is not good enough.

          Have them perform and, if Banners struggles, there might be a form candidate waiting.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 9:49am
        JamesH said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

        No. of dismissals is hardly a definitive measure of a keeper’s ability, Stuart. A keeper can only catch/stump a batsman when the opportunity comes their way. The ratio of dismissals to missed chances, as well as the no. of byes conceded per balls faced, would be much more insightful. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone could produce those figures.

        As far as I can tell it’s almost universally acknowledged that Healy was a more technically proficient keeper than Gilly. I think that’s purely judged on expert observation but I’d agree with it, for what it’s worth.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 11:14am
        Rellum said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        “To state that Healey was a better keeper than Gilchrist, merely repeats a furphy. The latter took 21 more dismissals in 23 fewer Tests.”


        How is that a measure of a keepers ability? People who watched (including even me) rate Heals probably the best keeper we have ever had, debatable but he was keeper of the century. Gilly is considered an excellent Test keeper, up there near the best but not as good as Heals or the like with the gloves. His batting combined with his excellent keeping are why he is considered a role model for future selections…..unfortunately as it it most likely not to be seen again for a long time.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 11:39pm
        Brendon the 1st said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

        Because he was behind the stumps to McGrath and Warne……. That kinda helps, having said that, I agree that Healy is overrated

    • November 14th 2017 @ 6:59am
      nick said | November 14th 2017 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      According to selectors there are spots up for grabs at 6 and 7. By batting Bancroft at 7, we can shore up our fragile collapse prone spine (we’ve had collapses in 14 out of the past 15 tests). Also, there’s no evidence he’s a worse keeper than the other candidates going around, small sample size, but Neville is dropping plenty lately and Wade is untenable.

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