Bancroft points to Warner productivity | cricketnetwork.com

Bancroft points to Warner productivity

12 January 2018

A lack of individual runs put his place in the spotlight but WA opener Cameron Bancroft highlights a successful opening combination

Test opener Cameron Bancroft has pointed to his partnership with David Warner rather than his own record as to why he should remain in Australia's Test team for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

While Bancroft ended the Magellan Ashes and his debut Test series with only one half-century and an average of 25.57, his deeds with Warner are significantly more prosperous.

Together, the pair put on 436 runs in eight innings, including a world-record 173-run fourth-innings stand to seal a 10-wicket win in Brisbane, along with another century partnership in Melbourne.

Bancroft crowns brilliant debut with winning runs

Australia's opening partnership averaged 62.26 this summer, and while it is a small sample size, that average is better than those posted by Warner and Chris Rogers (51.32), Warner and Joe Burns (44.31), and Warner and Ed Cowan (43.03).

Test captain Steve Smith publicly declared after the final day in Sydney that he hoped Bancroft would be on the plane to South Africa in mid-February, and the Western Australian believes his union with Smith's deputy will see his ticket booked.

"My own personal lack of success during the series, while that was definitely the case, I was able to put on some pretty good partnerships with Dave (Warner) at the top of the order and set up for some of our really good cricketers to come in and really plunder the English attack," Bancroft said after scoring an unbeaten 75 for the Perth Scorchers in their narrow loss to the Sydney Thunder on Thursday night.

"While I didn't go on and get those big hundreds I was involved in a couple of really big partnerships with Davey and I think that's a really positive sign.

Bancroft blasts 75no for Scorchers in vain

"We just match up and go together and get some big scores together and that will make a huge difference and I probably won't be in this situation right now."

Bancroft is likely to get one JLT Sheffield Shield match against NSW Blues at the WACA Ground in before the Test squad – sans those in the T20 international outfit – fly to South Africa for the four-Test series starting March 1 in Durban.

But for now, T20 cricket will have to suffice, and Bancroft sees no issues in that as long as he's constantly ticking the scoreboard over.

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"Whatever form of the game, runs are runs," he said.

"I think the mindset that you get into when you are making runs, no matter what form of the game it is, it's infectious and you can carry that into any form of cricket.

"I definitely didn't get the runs I would've liked to in the Test summer but I certainly felt like I was doing some things well.

"I just wasn't going on enough. I'll learn from that and hopefully I can carry some momentum on here for Perth, take it one game at a time and keep doing well."

National selector Mark Waugh, who watched Bancroft's knock from the Network Ten commentary box, said the BBL was a chance to regain some confidence.

"It was just good to see him go out there, relaxing and playing with a bit of freedom," Waugh said on Big Sports Breakfast.

"It doesn't matter what form of the game you're playing, if you're scoring runs and taking wickets, I think it flows through to your game in other areas. It gives you that confidence and self-belief."

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A cricket.com.au poll posing the question who of Bancroft, Burns or Matthew Renshaw should open the batting with Warner in South Africa saw an even split between the thousands of Australian supporters that voted. Renshaw attracted a little more than 36 per cent of the vote ahead of Burns (33 per cent) and Bancroft (30 per cent). 

While there is perhaps no greater spectacle for an Australian cricketer than the Ashes, in regard to pure competition, the prospect of facing the Proteas pace attack, led by the newly crowned world No.1-ranked Test bowler Kagiso Rabada, on their home soil is about as tough as it gets.

But Bancroft said would relish the challenge.

"It will be unbelievable," he said. "They're class bowlers, aren't they?

"You always want to be able to test yourself against the best bowlers.

"Hopefully I can keep batting well for the Scorchers and carry that momentum forward and hopefully that leads to some runs for Australia."

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About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.