Bancroft ready for Ashes recall: Langer
Former Australian player and coach Justin Langer believes Cameron Bancroft must be called up for this winter’s Ashes tour.
Bancroft compiled 90 from 112 balls and posted a 227 run second wicket partnership with Josh Inglis as WA smashed South Australia to win the Marsh One Day Cup at the WACA Ground yesterday, continuing an outstanding season where he is currently the leading runscorer in the Sheffield Shield and was named in the BBL team of the tournament.
Langer, who coached the 30 year old with the state and national teams and continues to work with him privately, told Sports Breakfast he had never seen him in better form.
“He’s playing beautifully. He’s got so many strengths, we know he can bat for a long time, we know he’s elite fit, we know he’s a great fielder, but he’s improved his balance at the crease, he’s hitting the ball on both sides of the wicket on the front and the back foot and he’s being rewarded,” Langer said.
“It’s not just in Shield cricket, he had a very, very good Big Bash season and he’s had a very good one day season. He played beautifully yesterday … it’s no wonder he’s being rewarded with so many runs.
“If Australia continues their trend which has worked for decades of people banging on the door and being rewarded for runs, he has to be on the (Ashes) tour. You always need openers over in England.”
Adam Voges’ side continued to build on their domestic dynasty with the 181-run win over the Redbacks, their third one day title in four seasons to go with last year’s Shield win and two consecutive Big Bash League victories for the Scorchers.
Langer, who coached the state from 2012 until leaving for the national job in 2018, said the success was built on a depth of talent and a positive environment.
“Every time the Scorchers play cricket, after the game they always talk about the family and the feeling within the group. Ashton Agar said it after the game yesterday, ‘they’re my best friends, I love playing with these guys, it’s so much fun out there’, and that’s what’s been created at the WACA,” he said.
“They’re really tightly knit. I’ve always said that the camaraderie within a team is the glue that keeps everything together, particularly when the pressure comes on. You can just feel it, they exclude this family environment down there with great talent, it’s no wonder they’re doing so well.
“I, like so many West Australians, are so proud of the way they’re going.”
The Australian side resume hostilities against India today in the fourth and final Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, with the hosts’ pitch preparation tactics again going under the microscope after curators appeared to be preparing multiple wickets leading into the game.
Langer said the balance between bat and ball in the series had been off-kilter and needed to be fine-tuned.
“I’d rather see cricket played on wickets like in India or in Brisbane [rather than] going to the extreme of absolute flat. I’ve said this for 20 odd years, if you play Test cricket (on those wickets), the game will die because it gets boring. Batsmen will gorge on lots of runs, but it’s not entertaining,” he said.
“At least if there’s wickets falling, it’s entertaining. I’ve been enthralled, I haven’t been able to take my eyes off these three Test matches in India, because it’s exciting to watch, it’s tough to watch, but I still think it’s gone a bit too far that way.
“These wickets are spinning more than, not just spinning in India like you’d expect, but it’s extreme spin, and they’ve been a bit up and down.”
The fourth and final Test begins at at 12pm AWST time today, with a crowd of over 100,000 people expected, while WA play their final Shield game against Victoria at the WACA on Tuesday, with a home final all but secured.
IMAGE: Cricket Australia.