Bancroft's omission disappointing: Langer on Test selection

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 10, 2024 IST

Cameron Bancroft

Perth, Jan 10: Former Australia head coach Justin Langer has slammed the non-selection of Cameron Bancroft in the Test team for the upcoming series against the West Indies, adding that the right-handed opener will be gutted by it.

Bancroft has been the leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield for the past two seasons while guiding Western Australia to back-to-back triumphs. But he was overlooked by selectors, who announced that Steve Smith will be the new opener for the Test team post David Warner’s retirement from the format.

Cameron Green will bat at number four, while Matthew Renshaw will be the reserve batter. Langer had coached Bancroft in Western Australia team and even in the national side during 2019 Ashes. “The non-selection of Cameron Bancroft for this next test match against the West Indies is disappointing. He will be gutted.”

“The mantra for all selectors is to tell aspiring players to score runs, take wickets, knock down the door. Be so good we can’t ignore you. Bancroft was given this message. All players are. He has taken the advice,” wrote Langer in his column for The West Australian.

He also feels Bancroft did everything which was asked of him. “His numbers are outstanding. Not only has he made a lot of runs, but his fielding in the slips or at bat pad is as good as any player in the country. A lot of good judges have pointed to his weight of runs, they are undeniable.”

“Critics might point to his weaknesses of days gone by. Every player who is any good, gets dropped, looks for feedback and then goes away and gets better. Bancroft has ticked this box as well.

“His numbers are outstanding. Not only has he made a lot of runs, but his fielding in the slips or at bat pad is as good as any player in the country. He is at that age where players like Michael Hussey, Chris Rogers and Adam Voges have come in and dominated. A lot of good judges have pointed to his weight of runs, they are undeniable."

Bancroft served a nine-month ban due to the 2018 Sandpaper scandal in Cape Town, but was recalled to the Test team for the 2019 Ashes. He played the first two Tests before being dropped from the Test team. Langer dismissed any suggestion of tension in the team about Bancroft’s role in the Cape Town scandal in 2018.

"Others might point to his past, and a vast error of Judgement in South Africa. He, like no other, knows the mistake he made. He has taken major steps forward, just as Steve Smith and David Warner did after their suspensions. Hopefully he has been forgiven for that.

"Form can’t be the issue. Timing isn’t either. David Warner has just retired. Cameron Bancroft will feel disappointed, as will Marcus Harris who has been next in line for some time. Matthew Renshaw will be understandably delighted,” he added.

Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody described Bancroft’s non-selection as shocking via his X account. “Selection is never an easy task but the oversight of Cameron Bancroft is shocking. His first class numbers are so compelling against his peers it feels there is another agenda which I hope was communicated to him honestly!"

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