Justin Langer detail emerges as Cameron Bancroft heaps pressure on David Warner
Cameron Bancroft is the obvious choice if Test selectors don't pick David Warner for the Ashes.
Australia could conceivably have Cameron Bancroft opening the batting in the Ashes this winter, and it might all be because of some coaching from Justin Langer. David Warner's place in the Aussie side is under a huge cloud, and his sub-par record against the swinging ball in England will give selectors plenty to think about.
Travis Head filled in brilliantly during the third and fourth Tests against India after Warner fractured his elbow and was forced to fly home early. But the general consensus is that Australia will be better served with Head batting at his normal spot in the middle order, where he has plundered runs over the last two years and risen to the world's sixth-best Test batter.
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Selectors appear willing to give Warner a reprieve for the World Test Championship final against India in June, which will begin just nine days before the start of the Ashes. But should he fail again or not even be selected, the obvious replacement would be Bancroft.
The West Australian batter was easily the leading scorer in the Sheffield Shield this season, helping his side win back-to-back titles. The 30-year-old made four centuries and amassed 945 runs at an average of 59 - almost 300 runs more than second-placed South Australia batter Daniel Drew.
Bancroft has been working privately with former national coach and long-time mentor Langer over the past 12 months, fine-tuning the technical and mental side of his game. And the move has clearly paid off in the sheer weight of runs he has scored across all three formats - culminating in Western Australian teams winning back-to-back titles in the Shield, one-day cup and Big Bash (Perth Scorchers).
Bancroft scored the winning runs in WA's nine-wicket win over Victoria in the recent Shield final. And according to state coach Adam Voges, the opener is in career-best form and should be on the plane to England for the World Test Championship final and Ashes series.
"Cameron's been building to a season like this for a little while now," the WA coach said. "Technically, I think he's in a much better space than he has been previously.
"Batting out here (at the WACA Ground), particularly opening the batting, is not the easiest thing in the world to do. For him to be able to overcome those challenges and then really go on and convert some of those starts into big scores, I'm really pleased for him. I think he deserves a spot on the plane to go to England in the winter."
Cameron Bancroft to play County cricket before Ashes
Bancroft will soon head to England to play County cricket on a short-term deal with an undisclosed team. With doubts over Warner's place in the side, Voges is backing Bancroft to make the most of a return to England.
"He's always had those really remarkable powers of concentration and ability to bat for long periods of time and now that he's technically in a better place, I think that just allows him to be able to draw on that strength," Voges said. "I think you're always more ready the second time around. He'll learn from the experiences and he'll certainly be much better for it."
Bancroft has played 10 Test matches to date at a disappointing average of 26.23. He was infamously slapped with a nine-month ban after being caught applying sandpaper to the ball during a match against South Africa in 2018.
Bancroft earned a recall to the Test side for the 2019 Ashes series in England. However he failed to convert his chances and was dropped after two Tests.
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