Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine wants more hard-nosed cricketers like Cameron Bancroft.
The West Australian jumped a queue of batsmen to be picked in a 14-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan starting next Thursday.
Bancroft was initially overlooked for an Australia A game against the tourists this week, but was summoned when Nic Maddinson withdrew because of mental health reasons.
Bancroft, considered a specialist opener, was batted at No.6 and top-scored with 49 as Australia A was bowled out for 122.
“He has come from outside the Australia A side and I guess showed his mettle when guys were falling around him,” Paine said of Bancroft,
“We know that is what Bangers is – he is a tough, competitive cricketer.
“And I think it’s great that we have got a few guys like that. And we want more of them.
“There’s no secret Bangers had a little bit of a tough time and has had some strange dismissals this year, but he has got the temperament to be an excellent Test cricketer for Australia.”
Bancroft has all but written off his chances of playing in the series-opener in Brisbane.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said Joe Burns will open the batting with David Warner and Travis Head appears likely to take the one vacant middle-order spot.
Paine warned against reading too much into Australia A’s struggles for runs in the Perth tour game against Pakistan.
“We look at one innings in a pink-ball game, which they (Australia’s batsmen) haven’t played with for a long time, in difficult light – it’s a challenge that you don’t get that often,” he said.
“And those guys certainly haven’t practised it for more than 12 months. Couple that with some bloody good bowling and that can happen.
“But to judge the whole Australian batting group on what has happened in one day or one session in Perth is probably a little bit hard.”