Cameron Bancroft’s desperation ultimately got the better of him but Australia coach Justin Langer insists the axed opener has a big and bright Test future ahead of him.
Bancroft marked his international return from a nine-month ban in this month’s Ashes opener, having demanded selection with a match-winning 93 not out in Australia’s intra-squad selection trial in Southampton.
But the batsman’s unconvincing footwork, coupled with scores of 13, 16, eight and seven, prompted Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns to drop him in favour of Marcus Harris in Leeds.
“Because he is trying so hard, he’s probably just batting to survive a bit at the moment. His feet aren’t moving like they could,” Langer said during Nine’s coverage.
“But we know he is a gun. We know he has a big future in Australian cricket.”
Langer has made no secret of how much he admires Bancroft’s work ethic and short-leg catching, while recently-departed squad mentor Steve Waugh urged selectors to back the West Australian “for the long term”.
“Really tough,” Langer said.
“There is so much to love about Cameron Bancroft. He is so tough and dedicated. The boys love having him in the team.
“Unfortunately he is not at his best at the moment.”
Bancroft will have a chance to restore some confidence during next week’s tour game in Derby but, barring injury, he will struggle to force his way back into the Test XI during this tour.
Tim Paine, having described Bancroft’s second dig at Lord’s as “pretty good” in his press conference after the second Test, spoke glowingly of the batsman at Thursday’s toss.
“Cameron hasn’t quite been able to get the runs on the board that we would have liked,” Paine said.
“But it’s a minor hiccup for Bangers and we expect him to come back really strongly.”