Test great backs keeping bolter for Ashes spot


Former Test opener Justin Langer believes Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft has the talent and fitness to be a long-term Test wicketkeeper-batsman.

With first choice WA keeper Sam Whiteman sidelined by a long term injury, Bancroft kept throughout the Warriors' one-day campaign and in this week's Shield game against NSW.

A lack of runs from Australia's specialist keepers combined with an eye-catching performance in Sydney have combined to make him a bolter for selection in the first Ashes Test.

Bancroft scored 76 not out and 86 against a Test strength NSW attack and became the first wicketkeeper in Sheffield Shield history to carry his bat.

He was on the field for all but 25 of the 303.3 overs and didn't concede a bye in either innings during a game attended by national selector Mark Waugh.

Could Bancroft get the job done? Image: Getty

Bancroft was chosen for the 2015 Test tour of Bangladesh, which was cancelled.

He played one T20 international against India in 2016, but was subsequently passed by other openers in the pecking order including Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw.

"I think he could definitely be a long term keeper for Western Australia., I think he could be a long term keeper for Australia actually," WA coach Langer said.

"I thought he did an amazing job.

"If anyone in the world of cricket can open the batting and wicket keep, Cameron Bancroft can because he's super at it, he loves it.

"I actually gave him the choice before the game, 'we want you to wicketkeep, do you want to bat in the middle order or do you want to open?

"He goes 'I'll have to dig a bit deep with my fitness, but I'm definitely opening.'

"He played well particularly in front of the Australian captain and vice -captain and also the Australian bowling attack, so I'm sure they would have been pretty impressed."

Bancroft said he enjoys spending time behind the stumps.

"But I love opening the batting at the same time. It's difficult to balance the two, but whatever the team needs, I'm there for it," Bancroft told AAP.

While Bancroft's stocks rose in the game in Sydney, those of incumbent Test player Hilton Cartwright fell, as he bagged a pair.

"Hopefully it's a blip for him and he'll get some (runs) next week," Langer said.