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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Bancroft "shafted" by non Ashes selection

Former Australian captain Kim Hughes believes Cameron Bancroft has been robbed of a place in the squad for the World Test Championship final and the first two Ashes Tests.

Bancroft, who is currently in a stint with English county Somerset, has missed out despite being the dominant batter in last year’s victorious Sheffield Shield campaign, scoring 945 runs at an average of 59.06 with four hundreds.

Hughes told Sports Breakfast the 30 year old had been “shafted”.

“It’s just unbelievable, I mean Bancroft scored about 900 runs, [200] or 300 more than anybody else in our top four day competition in the Sheffield Shield,” Hughes said.

“I’m pleased Harris got in, I understand why Warner is there, but [Renshaw], I won’t say what I was going to think because I might get kicked off the radio for life.

“I don’t know what he’s got to do. He went out there, he’s played well in the one day games as well, he’s been working with Justin Langer, he’s the age of 30 so he should be in his prime, he’s sorted out his balance, his head’s not going too far to the offside. Very, very, disappointing.”

The headline call for the tour is the retention of veteran opener David Warner, who had a miserable Ashes tour in 2019 and has looked short of his best over the last few years.

Hughes said having four left handed openers in Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris, and Matthew Renshaw could come back to bite the Australians.

“36 years of age, and against Broad, I think [Warner] averaged 9. Jeepers,” he said.

“He keeps himself really, really fit.

“England’s attack with Broad and Anderson, Jofra Archer back, and I think there’s Wood and one or two others, they’ve got about five or six world-class bowlers.”

England have seen a massive reversal of their Test fortunes since New Zealander Brendon McCullum and allrounder Ben Stokes were appointed coach and captain respectively, winning 10 of their 12 games with an aggressive brand of cricket.

Hughes said England’s ‘Bazball’ revolution would face their sternest challenge against Pat Cummins’ side.

“It will be the most exciting Ashes series we’ve had in years. I’m excited to get there and see how some of these blokes go,” he said. “It’s all very well to get them on flat decks and go out there against average attacks, but when you’ve got a world-class attack, which is what Australia does have … it can be a different kettle of fish.

“Depending on the weather, in the five Tests it’ll be 3-2, and I’m going for the Aussies.”

The World Test Championship final kicks off on June 7th at The Oval, with the Ashes campaign getting underway on June 16th at Edgbaston.


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