With Australia’s Test side due to be announced this Friday, we want to know who you think should be picked in the side to face England on November 23.
There’s been no shortage of speculation around the make-up of the Test team heading into the Ashes. While the bowling attack will almost certainly comprise Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon, the batting order is far from settled.
Skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner are both certainties to be picked, and both Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb are extremely likely to be included in the line-up.
However, there have been serious concerns over Matthew Renshaw’s recent form, meaning the selectors could look to bring a new opener into the side to partner Warner at the top of the order.
The race for the number six spot is wide open. Incumbent Glenn Maxwell had a decent second-round outing in the Sheffield Shield for Victoria, but the uncapped Jake Lehmann was even more impressive with scores of 103 and 93 against the Bushrangers. Neither has impressed in the current round of state cricket though.
Hilton Cartwright has also been touted as another potential candidate for the position, as has fellow all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, although both have failed to put together a big score this Shield season.
Then there’s the wicketkeeper’s spot. Selectors are under pressure from Australian fans to drop Matthew Wade after a string of poor performances with the bat, but none of his rivals for the gloves have demanded selection. Peter Nevill and Alex Carey have both kept tidily during the opening rounds of Sheild cricket, but neither has put a big score on the board.
One player who has soared into contention is West Australian Cameron Bancroft. Bancroft, who has only taken the gloves for the Warriors due to an injury to regular keeper Sam Whiteman, made impressive scores of 76 not out and 86 opening the batting against New South Wales’ Test attack to catapult himself into the selection conversation, before following it up with an unbeaten double-century against South Australia.
He’s now in the running to take the gloves for the opening Ashes Test, and is another option at number six. He may even be selected in place of Renshaw at the top of the order.
So, who would you like to see line up in the first Test? Let us know by picking your Australian Ashes team with the selector below, including nominating your captain and wicketkeeper, and be sure to share your team in the comments and on Facebook.