It has been made clear that Cameron Bancroft is currently not among the 7 best Test batters in Australia. Following David Warner’s retirement, Steve Smith managed to convince the selectors that he should take up the opening role, which would allow Cameron Green, who wasn’t being utilized from the bench, to get into his favored position at number 4.
More than this, the addition of Matt Renshaw in the squad for the West Indies Tests over Cameron Bancroft would have been hurtful to the right-hander, who has been nothing but hugely prolific in red-ball games over the past couple of years.
While Cameron Bancroft has been overlooked right now, he remains in contention for a Test return in the future; he last played a Test match in the 2019 Ashes. Captain Pat Cummins has assured that Bancroft is still in their minds, and chief selector George Bailey confirmed that Bancroft’s comments from 2021 about the Australian bowlers must have been aware of the ball-tampering activities in the 2018 Cape Town Test haven’t influenced his non-selection.
While Australia are expected to stick with Smith and Usman Khawaja as their openers, and Renshaw as the backup, until the end of the 2024/25 home Test series against India, Bancroft could make his return in 2025, when Australia will host England for an Ashes series in the 2025/26 summer.
2 reasons why Cameron Bancroft could be picked for the 2025/26 Ashes series at home:
Smith and Khawaja are on the wrong side of 30s
Smith will turn 35 this June, and Khawaja turned 31 last month. It looks unlikely that at least Khawaja, if not Smith as well, will play beyond the 2024/25 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
There’s also an unexpected injury scare when you age. Cummins has already mentioned that “in international cricket, there’s always injuries or these guys [the incumbents] aren’t going to be around forever.
Bancroft, 31, is relatively younger compared to the two openers. So he has plenty of time on his hands to have another shot at Test cricket.
Cameron Bancroft can break the door down on the selectors
The only way to attract *good* attention to yourselves in sports is to simply put up unignorable numbers and performances. And Bancroft is doing it right now. Over the last two seasons, he has amassed 1457 runs at an average of 58, helping Western Australia win back-to-back Shield titles.
The second-best opener in Sheffield Shield since 2021 is closer to the third-best opener than he is to Bancroft.
Openers with the highest Sheffield Shield batting average since January 2021 (until Jan 10, 2024):
50.72 – Cameron Bancroft
38.70 – Matthew Renshaw
37.68 – Marcus Harris
If he continues on this run-charting spree, Cameron Bancroft is likely to find himself in the set of the 7 best Test batters in Australia by the time the 2025/26 Ashes series arrives.
Another century for Cameron Bancroft
His sixth in his past 13 Sheffield Shield matches
During that period …
1279 runs at 71
— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) October 28, 2023