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Justin Langer's big call on Cameron Bancroft as Henry Hunt sends Test reminder

The former Australian coach believes Cameron Bancroft should be given another chance.

Pictured left Cameron Bancroft and right Justin Langer

Former Australian coach Justin Langer believes Test hopeful Cameron Bancroft deserves another crack at opening the batting for the national team. David Warner announced his intention to retire from Test cricket after three matches against Pakistan this home summer and the West Australian has put himself in pole position to fill the void with some stellar performances in the Sheffield Shield.

"I always believe you have got to be so good they can't ignore you," Langer told reporters on Monday. "And he has been so good, it's going to be hard to ignore.

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"What Cameron Bancroft is doing is all that he can do - make runs. It's the only currency of value is runs, and he is making plenty of those at the moment."

Bancroft is in the midst of another Sheffield Shield run spree, with 404 runs this Shield season, which includes two centuries. He has picked up from where he left off last year where the right-hander topped the Shield run-scoring last season with 945 runs and an average of 59.06.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 16: Cameron Bancroft of Western Australia raises his bat after reaching his half century during Day 2 of the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Tasmania at the WACA, on October 16, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Cameron Bancroft is in the midst of another Sheffield Shield run spree, with 404 runs this Shield season, which includes two centuries. Image: Getty

His competition for Warner's spot largely lies in Marcus Harris (80 runs) and Matt Renshaw (271 runs), who sit well below his run-scoring this year. Henry Hunt continues to stake his claim for the spot, defying the Gabba gloom and Queensland's pace attack to score an unbeaten century on Monday, finishing the day on 104.

Bancroft's 10-Test career has suffered two monumental setbacks. The first was a suspension on the back of being part of taking a piece of sandpaper to the ball in an infamous moment in South Africa in 2018. He then was recalled during the Ashes in 2019 but faltered scoring just 44 runs in four innings.

Despite being discarded by Langer after his 2019 failure, the former Australian coach believes he is deserving of another chance in the side, due to how many centuries he is scoring. "He has made consistently a lot of hundreds - you always judge a player on their hundreds because hundreds win games," Langer said.

"You look at his balance at the crease, he is playing off the back and the front foot ... he plays well in all three forms of the game, which tells me he's an improved player.

"He's worked a lot on himself as a person since South Africa. Without question he has got a curious mind ... maybe (only) Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith have got a better work ethic in world cricket, let alone Australian cricket. So because of those factors, he's definitely a better player."

Henry Hunt sends Test selectors reminder with century

Hunt's drought-breaking century on Monday has put him back in the mix for a potential international call-up. The 26-year-old brought up his eighth first-class century in the shadows of stumps, off 236 balls.

It was his first Shield score of substance this season, ending a first-class century drought that stretched back to Australia A's tour of Sri Lanka in June last year. Hunt says he is often the forgotten man behind Harris, Renshaw and Bancroft.

"I don't think people lose it overnight," Hunt said of his return to form. "You've got to trust the process and it was nice to make it count today.

"You've just got to keep the faith, keep riding the highs and lows. (Cricket) is a big leveller ... you could come out tomorrow and nick the first ball."

- with AAP

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