Cameron Bancroft's telling admission amid fight for David Warner's Test cricket spot

The West Australian opener says he is a far better player than when he last pulled on the baggy green.

Cameron Bancroft pictured left and pictured with David Warner right
Test hopeful Cameron Bancroft scored 74 off 54 on Tuesday night for the Sydney Thunder as his solid run of form continued. Image: Getty

Test hopeful Cameron Bancroft shone for the Sydney Thunder on Tuesday night with 74 off 54 as his solid run of form continued. Bancroft is widely considered to be the frontrunner to replace David Warner in the Test side and the West Australian believes he is playing far better cricket than when he last pulled on the baggy green.

Bancroft is in a three-way battle with Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw for Warner's soon-to-be vacant opening batting spot. The West Australian has scored the most Sheffield Shield runs this season and is franking his Shield form with runs in the Big Bash. Bancroft was the leading run-scorer in last season's Sheffield Shield competition as well with 945 runs at 59.06 and has notched 512 runs at 56.88 so far this summer.

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He is in pole position for a Test recall but isn't getting ahead of himself, saying he is focusing his efforts on scoring runs for the Thunder and improving his game day by day. "I'd like to think the longer I play, the more I've improved and will get better," Bancroft said.

Australia's Cameron Bancroft walks off after being dismissed during day three of the Ashes Test match at Edgbaston, Birmingham. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

"That's something that I hold myself accountable to, regardless of what may or may not happen in the future. I always want to learn and try to keep getting better. That's something I pride myself on.

"I've said many times it would be an honour to represent my country again. Like all players, you dream of playing for Australia and I'd love to do that again. It's something I don't have control over now. I'll keep enjoying my cricket and I'm sure the fruits of that may happen in the future and will take care of itself."

Bancroft's 10-Test career has suffered two monumental setbacks. The first was a suspension for his part in taking a piece of sandpaper to the ball in an infamous moment in South Africa in 2018. He was recalled during the Ashes in 2019 but faltered scoring just 44 runs in four innings. Bancroft was then dropped from the side and has not even made a touring squad since.

Will Pucovski hoping to press claims for a Test recall

Aussie Will Pucovski is gearing up to stamp his claims for a Test recall this week when his Victoria side faces Pakistan in a two-day tour match. The Pakistanis added the match to their schedule to give them some much-needed time in the middle after suffering a horrendous second innings batting collapse to lose by 360 runs in the first Test against Australia after being bowled out for 89 on day four.

"That was something extra we added into the schedule because it wasn't there earlier," Pakistan coach Mohammad Hafeez told reporters on Sunday. "We wanted to have more practice rather than only one practice game. That had first-class status, so we couldn't give all the bowlers the chance to have a feel. But that's the reason we wanted to have that practice game so more of the guys could get a feel for a match scenario. We felt that would work well."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 29: Will Pucovski of Victoria watches on following the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on October 29, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Aussie Will Pucovski is gearing up to stamp his claims for a Test recall this week when his Victoria side faces Pakistan in a two-day tour match. Image: Getty

Pucovski's involvement in the two-day match against Pakistan will mark his first hit-out against international opposition since his Test debut almost three years ago. He was touted as a future Test star after excelling at Sheffield Shield level earlier on in his career but the 25-year-old's progress has been cruelly halted after numerous concussions and mental health concerns. Pucovski is only averaging 21 in the Sheffield Shield for Victoria this season.

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