Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has been recalled in the 14-member Australian Test squad for the two-match series against Pakistan, beginning November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Despite his own reservations about his recent form, the 26-year-old has been named as one of three specialist openers in the squad alongside David Warner and Joe Burns.
Earlier, Bancroft was included late in the Australia A squad for this week’s tour match against Pakistan in Perth after Victoria batsman Nic Maddinson decided to take a break from the game owing to mental health issues.
Bancroft, who had earlier lost his place in the Test squad to Tavis Harris following the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, managed to score just 49 runs off 155 balls in the tour game.
Meanwhile, Victorian batsman Will Pucovski had earlier urged Cricket Australia not to consider him for selection for the upcoming two-match Test series owing to mental health issues. As a result, he became the third Australian player after all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and batsman Nic Maddinson who reached out to their country’s cricket board about their mental health issues.
Top-order batsman Usman Khawaja, who was a part of the touring Australian side against England for the Ashes series, has been left out of the national squad for Pakistan Test matches after he managed just 59 runs at an average of 11.8 in his five innings at 2019 Sheffield Shield.
Reflecting on the squad, South Australia cricket coach Jamie Siddons said that while Matthew Wade and Travis Head would give a strong middle order support to Australia, Bancroft is someone who has the ingredients of a good Test cricketer.
“Travis Head scored a hundred against a very good New South Wales attack just a few weeks ago and also offers the option of part-time off-spin. Matthew Wade was superb as a specialist batsman through last summer, had a solid Ashes Series with two hundreds and strong start to the current domestic season,” cricket.com.au quoted Siddons as saying.
“We anticipate Matthew and Travis will give us a strong middle order in support of the top four. Cameron Bancroft is someone who has the ingredients of what we believe makes a good Test cricketer and rounds out our batting group in the squad,” he added.
The full Australian Test squad is as follows:
Tim Paine (captain), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head (vc), Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Source: Zee News