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How will Cameron Bancroft slot into the Australian Test side?

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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125 Have your say

    There’s no argument Cameron Bancroft deserves to make his Test debut against England at the Gabba next week. The question is where?

    Bancroft, who will be 25 on Sunday, has just cracked a career-high 228* opening up for West Australia in the Sheffield Shield – his second double-ton among 11 centuries, and 17 half-centuries.

    So does he replace Matt Renshaw as David Warner’s opening partner, or does he fill the vital middle-order slot?

    Even though Renshaw has been devoid of Shield runs, he averages 63 in his four Tests in Australia. How can the selectors drop him on a horses-for-courses basis?

    That leaves No.6, purely as a batsman, or maybe at seven if Bancroft is named to replace Matt Wade as the keeper. Whatever happens, Bancroft can’t keep and open the batting.

    Let’s say Australia fields first, how could Bancroft possibly face up in the first over of the second innings after keeping for 150 overs?

    So the baggy green XI for the first Ashes Test would look like this:

    1. David Warner (vc)
    2. Matt Renshaw
    3. Usman Khawaja
    4. Steve Smith (c)
    5. Peter Handscomb
    6. Jake Lehmann
    7. Cameron Bancroft
    8. Mitchell Starc
    9. Pat Cummins
    10. Nathan Lyon
    11. Josh Hazlewood

    Why Lehmann over Moises Henriques, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, or Travis Head?

    Reliability and class.

    Lehmann has a Sheffield Shield career average of 44, with 205 his best effort, among six tons and nine half-centuries.

    In his last game, against the Vics at the MCG, Lehmann cracked 103 and 93.

    Sure, he’s the son of Australia’s head coach, Darren Lehmann, but Jake has earned recognition in his own right.

    Jake Lehmann scores a century

    There’s another possibility of selection changes in Brisbane if Bancroft’s keeping experience is viewed by the selectors as limited, having only worn the gloves a handful of times.

    That said, Ian Healy made his debut as Australia’s Test keeper on the tour of Pakistan in 1988 after only six Sheffield Shield games for Queensland.


    Healy went on to set a world record 395 dismissals, with 532 catches and 23 stumpings, before compatriot Adam Gilchrist lifted the record to 416, with 379 and 37.

    But, if a lack of time behind the stumps is seen as a deal-breaker, an alternative side could be Bancroft opening in place of Renshaw, with Peter Nevill – the best gloveman in the country – slotting back in as the keeper.

    Whichever way selectors Trevor Hohns, Mark Waugh, Greg Chappell, and Darren Lehmann decide, the Aussies should go into the second Test one-up.

    And handsomely win the Ashes.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (125)

    • November 16th 2017 @ 5:37am
      Chris Love said | November 16th 2017 @ 5:37am | ! Report

      The answer to the first question is that CB doesn’t keep to 150 overs. You manage his load by having Nevill step in once either the load has gone too long or we are getting into the tail to give CB a freshen up before he goes into bat.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 6:09am
        Simon G said | November 16th 2017 @ 6:09am | ! Report

        What do you mean “have Nevill step in”? As 12th man during the match? I’m pretty sure the 12th man can’t keep wickets.

        • November 16th 2017 @ 7:48am
          Jarijari said | November 16th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

          Substitute fielders are permitted to don the gloves when a wicketkeeper suffers an injury under a new set of rules this season, but umpires will need to give their approval for a substitute to take up the role to prevent teams from taking advantage of the rule. That might preclude making a specialist keeper 12th man.

        • November 16th 2017 @ 8:36am
          Trevor said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report


      • November 16th 2017 @ 8:28am
        Marcus said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        The simplest thing is to not be too structured. Pick CB as opener and WK, if he has a long time in the field, promote Khawaja to open and let CB come in at 6. Pushing Maxi down to 7 and let him come in with a green light to go for it.

        • Roar Guru

          November 16th 2017 @ 8:54am
          Chris Kettlewell said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

          CB has done well keeping while opening for WA for the last couple of games. But I can’t see the selectors really believing that would be a good idea to do at test level. I’m not even sure how well he could pull it off if he was doing it for the whole season at Shield level. He might do it, but it’s a pretty big load. I’ve heard suggestions he’s an absolute iron man fitness-wise, and he did look amazingly fresh late in his second innings of the match against NSW despite having been on the ground for the entire match up to that point, keeping two innings and carrying his bat in the first innings. So maybe he could, but that would be a massive call to select a player to debut at test level as a wicket-keeping opener, let alone do it in an Ashes series. Can’t see it happening.

          • November 16th 2017 @ 10:26am
            Ben said | November 16th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Jonny Bairnstow admitted he is not the best keeper in England but has the spot because of his batting.
            Bancroft should keep and open and we always have Handscomb to step in if needed.
            We could then add a extra batsmen which we surely need.
            Renshaw had enough chanced to change his technique.
            We need 2 solid openers and Warner and Bancroft would be a good right left combination.

      • Roar Guru

        November 16th 2017 @ 8:34am
        Edward L'Orange said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

        Yeah, I’m with Simon here and not really sure what you mean. If Nevill was in the team, he would ‘keep the whole time. The only way it would work without him is if Handscomb and Bancroft shared the ‘keeping, but it’s just not a good idea all ’round.

    • November 16th 2017 @ 6:58am
      Rob JM said | November 16th 2017 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      And if we are bowling 150 overs we are going to need either Cartwright or Maxwell to help with the bowling, with maxwells darts seemingly a better option than Cartwrights pies. Maxwell has scored more 50s this shield season than Warner, Renshaw and Handscomb, and with his bonus bowling Cleary deserves his spot over Cartwright and Lehmann considering his reasonable returns in the subcontinent.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 8:04am
        Jameswm said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        Ivan Cleary? Didn’t realise he played cricket.

    • November 16th 2017 @ 7:41am
      Jarijari said | November 16th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      Disagree Lordy. Bancroft’s a part-time keeper for his state and a full-time opening bat. If they’re going to pick him, it should be as an opener, but the fact that Renshaw faced the Test quicks in the nets yesterday suggests he will retain his spot, at least for the first couple of Tests. If he fails then Bancroft is next cab off the rank.

      Cartwright’s ability to roll his arm over should help secure him a spot but they might go for Maxwell’s darts. Lehmann’s turn will come at some stage. Nevill’s our best experienced keeper and should be recalled.

      • Columnist

        November 16th 2017 @ 2:27pm
        David Lord said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        Maxwell’s darts Jarijari?

        Off the bat?

    • November 16th 2017 @ 8:02am
      bigbaz said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      Lived (cringed) through the days of Phillips, managed to ruin his career by asking him to step up with the gloves and ended up destroying his batting, pick the best keeper and whatever else they bring is a bonus.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 8:05am
        Jameswm said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        Good in theory, but not when he lose middle order wickets in chinks. If you had someone reliable at 6 like Mike Hussey, maybe. But we don’t.

        • Roar Guru

          November 16th 2017 @ 8:28am
          Wayne said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

          So its the Wicket Keepers/All Rounders fault that the Batsman, who are in the side exclusively for their ability to Bat get out cheaply?

          Pick the best person behind the stumps. We rotate through them pretty quick, so age isn’t a relevant marker anymore. Being in the Test team is a week-to-week proposition now. Not a pick and stick

          • November 16th 2017 @ 8:35am
            Jameswm said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

            “Pick the best person behind the stumps”.

            No. Pick the best team to win the game. Don’t pick players in isolation.

            • Roar Rookie

              November 16th 2017 @ 9:22am
              Lancey5times said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

              This may have been the case 15 years ago but the reality now is that teams consist of 4 bowlers and 7 batsman. Of those 7 batsman, 1 keeps and 1 or 2 can roll the arm over.

              I’m afraid the days of the specialist keeper are drawing to an end

      • Roar Guru

        November 16th 2017 @ 8:42am
        Chris Kettlewell said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        This is very different to the Phillips situation though. We aren’t talking about a batsman who sometimes does a passable wicket-keeping impression, we are talking about a wicket-keeper, who has kept wicket at every level he’s played in through his career and enjoys it. The fact that he’s a good enough batsman to make the Shield team as a batsman when there isn’t an opening for a wicket-keeper doesn’t mean his wicket-keeping is poor or that he doesn’t really want to do it.

    • Roar Guru

      November 16th 2017 @ 8:24am
      Edward L'Orange said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      Comparing Healy and Bancroft in ‘keeping terms is pretty far fetched, and made all the more humorous since that article yesterday in which Healy begged the selectors not to pick Bancroft as the ‘keeper.

      • November 16th 2017 @ 8:36am
        Jameswm said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        Healy has a vested interest and often shows bias in his comments.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 16th 2017 @ 8:48am
          Lancey5times said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

          Agreed. Ian A) doesn’t want to witness the inevitable death of the specialist keeper and B) has been a loyal spokesman for the hardworking glovemen in the country. If you ask Heals I’m pretty sure he would firmly believe a keeper should bat at 7, take all his chances and any batting average over 28 is a bonus. The game has moved past his thinking

          • Roar Guru

            November 16th 2017 @ 9:15am
            Edward L'Orange said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

            I agree with you guys, but it does not mean that his comments on Bancroft are wrong, or the comparison of the two a fair comparison. I’ll get behind pretty much whoever they choose, but I just wonder if Bancroft has enough experience.

            • Roar Guru

              November 16th 2017 @ 2:43pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

              Healy talks like selecting Bancroft as keeper is somehow an offense to “real keepers”. Like he needs to keep in the Shield for a couple of seasons before being considered. Ideally that would be the case, but right now we need a keeper, and if he’s the best option, he’s the best option. It’s silly to pick someone else who’s not as good as him just because they’ve been doing it for longer at first class level and make Bancroft wait until he’s played more first class games as a keeper anymore than Healy should have been ignored at the time he was picked because he’d only played 6 first class matches.

              • November 16th 2017 @ 7:29pm
                George said | November 16th 2017 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

                So based on a few errors Nevill suddenly isn’t a better keeper than Bancroft? Talk about disrespecting proven experience and quality.

              • Roar Guru

                November 16th 2017 @ 9:05pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

                People talk like he’s this great keeper who we should go for because he won’t make mistakes, but he makes plenty. There is really no evidence that Bancroft would make any more than Nevill does. An no, it’s not just that he’s made a couple of errors out of an otherwise stellar career, for some reason people seem to forget that when he was playing for Australia, on top of the worry about his batting output, there was actually worry about his keeping also as he was missing way too many chances then too. But people seem to look at him with rose coloured glasses simply because of the “well he must be better than Wade” thought.

      • Columnist

        November 16th 2017 @ 2:32pm
        David Lord said | November 16th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        Bancroft has played only five games for the West as keeper, Healy was promoted to Test keeper in 1988 after six games for Queensland.

        What’s far-fetched about facts ELO?

    • November 16th 2017 @ 8:25am
      Curious George said | November 16th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      James, excellent excellent point

      Our lineup has been fragile for years and collapable as we all know

      Bancroft can be like cement (like hussey was) to stabilse it

      Maxwell will be like a sledehammer to collapse it faster

      If the selectors seriously pick Maxwell they are asking to lose the Ashes

      • Roar Rookie

        November 16th 2017 @ 9:13am
        Lancey5times said | November 16th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        It is remarkable how you have complete unwavering faith in a guy who has never played a test yet firmly believe that the guys with experience will certainly fail.

        You really are a unique creature and exemplify the worst of the Australian sports fan

        • November 16th 2017 @ 11:02am
          Spenn said | November 16th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          What a perfect post.

        • November 16th 2017 @ 12:12pm
          Deir-ba-zor said | November 16th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Hear, Hear.

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