Bancroft to embrace concussion standby

Justin Chadwick
Cameron Bancroft is ready to step in for Australia if a teammate is concussed against Pakistan

Opener Cameron Bancroft says it was a nice surprise to earn a Test recall for the upcoming series against Pakistan - even though it's only likely to be as a designated concussion safeguard.

Bancroft was a shock inclusion in the 14-man squad, but he is unlikely to play unless a teammate gets concussed during either of the two Tests.

Joe Burns will partner David Warner at the top of the order, while Travis Head is set to slot back into the middle order.

That would leave Bancroft on the fringes - unless he is needed mid-match.

Marnus Labuschagne was in the same position during the Ashes - forced to spectate before replacing a concussed Steve Smith during the second Test.

Labuschagne has since established himself as a regular in the Test XI.

Bancroft believes players who offer flexibility will become the go-to option to be the concussion standby.

"I think that's probably the way the game has had to evolve a little bit," Bancroft said.

"Marnus was a great example during the Ashes. He was able to come in and have a really big impact in that game.

"You (need to) be as flexible as you can, and you need resources in your team to be flexible for whatever happens."

Bancroft has averaged just 11.4 from his six Sheffield Shield innings this summer.

But his fighting 49 off 155 balls for Australia A against Pakistan earlier this week was enough to convince coach Justin Langer to select Bancroft in the Test squad.

"It was a surprise," Bancroft said of his selection.

"I haven't got any big hundreds or the runs I would have liked. I've been out in a couple of really strange ways.

"But contrary to a lot of other times in my career, I felt like I've been playing well. I've just been out of runs at the time.

"I've found some good confidence in one-day cricket, I'm feeling good. If I get an opportunity, hopefully I can make a big score."

The 26-year-old probably wouldn't have been selected in the Test squad if rising star Will Pucovski hadn't have stepped away to focus on his mental health.

Bancroft had to deal with an unprecedented level of stress himself during the ball tampering scandal in South Africa, and said he was feeling for Pucovski.

"I wish him all the best. Hopefully he can be back happy with a smile on his face playing cricket soon," he said.