Sport The Ashes: Cameron Bancroft the Test wicketkeeper Australia needs as Matthew Wade, Peter Nevill struggle

01:36  09 november  2017
01:36  09 november  2017 Source:   ABC News

Nevill out early as Ashes hopefuls stall

  Nevill out early as Ashes hopefuls stall Ashes hopeful Peter Nevill failed to add to his overnight score of 32 before NSW were all out for 270 in their Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia.After Nevill edged a Jhye Richardson (4-47) outswinger to be caught behind in the second over of the day for 32, tailenders Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon fell meekly after a two-hour rain delay to finish the innings.

It was also the highest score this season by a wicketkeeper in a Shield game. Matthew Wade , Peter Nevill and Alex Carey are the front runners for the Test keeper’s spot but all have failed to post a substantial score this season.

Incumbent Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is under enormous pressure to hold his spot, with the position for the Magellan Ashes basically coming down to a bat-off between the candidates over the first three rounds of the JLT Sheffield Shield. Wade is facing a potent Western Australia attack at the

Bancroft foiled Australia's first-choice bowling attack during WA's clash with the Blues.© AAP/ David Moir Bancroft foiled Australia's first-choice bowling attack during WA's clash with the Blues. Nothing stirs a selection debate quite like the lead-up to an Ashes series.

There are a few certainties, barring injury, heading into this month's first Test against England in Brisbane.

Mitchell Starc will lead Australia's pace attack alongside Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins.

Starc's record breaking double hat-trick for New South Wales in recent days grabbed the headlines for obvious reasons.

A hat-trick is an incredible feat, but two hat-tricks in the same game is something so rare, the last time it was done in first-class cricket was nearly 40 years ago.

Cartwright vows to bounce back from pair

  Cartwright vows to bounce back from pair WA's Hilton Cartwright knows he needs to post a big score against South Australia next week if he is to be picked as Australia's No.6 batsman for the Ashes.Cartwright appeared to be the frontrunner for the vacant No.6 position in the Test team until he recorded a pair of ducks while batting for WA in the recent Sheffield Shield loss to NSW.

Former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy believes the Australian selectors will opt for Peter Nevill over Matthew Wade to wear the gloves in this summer’s Ashes series. Despite the position still being tipped to be wide open

There were few performances which stood out more than that of 24-year-old Cameron Bancroft . The wicketkeeping spot was seen as a battle between Peter Nevill , Matthew Wade Does Matt Renshaw need to be dropped for Brisbane? (104). What would an Australian wicketkeepers XI look like?

But the more significant performance for the Australian selectors was the man who managed to blunt the star-studded Blues bowling line-up.

In a low-scoring match, Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft was the standout with the bat.

Comment: Should the selectors punt on Cam Bancroft as ‘keeper?

  Comment: Should the selectors punt on Cam Bancroft as ‘keeper? Adam Gilchrist changed the way we look at wicketkeepers in Australia and it has little to do with what he did with the gloves. In 96 Test matches he amassed 5570 runs, compiled 17 centuries and averaged 47.6.

Not since the pre-Ian Healy days have Australia scratched their heads so much in selecting a wicketkeeper . File image of Matthew Wade . AP. The primary occupants in the wicketkeeping role have been Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill .

Former Test opener Michael Slater has called for the return of wicketkeeper -batsman Peter Nevill to Australia 's Test team for this summer's Magellan Ashes campaign. A lean stretch with the bat has put Matthew Wade 's Test spot in doubt ahead of the first Test at the Gabba on November 23

He successfully stared down Australia's first-choice attack of Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon.

Bancroft opened the batting for the Warriors and — as Test hopefuls Shaun Marsh and Hilton Cartwright fell around him — was left unbeaten at the end of the first innings on 76.

He backed it up with a defiant 86 in the second.

The perfect tonic for the middle order

Bancroft, 24, dedicates himself to a daily meditation routine — and his mental-strength was on display against New South Wales as he kept for two days and faced 354 deliveries at the crease.

It is testament to his application and powers of concentration, something Australia's delicate middle-order desperately needs.

Bancroft is now averaging a remarkable 118.75 in his last three first-class games.

His latest performance in this game proves he can bat and bat well against a Test-calibre attack, but that is something the Australian selectors have always suspected.

Tim Paine tipped to be in Ashes Test squad

  Tim Paine tipped to be in Ashes Test squad Tim Paine, who struggled to get a game for Tasmania last summer, and would-be debutant Cameron Bancroft are expected to be named in Australia's Ashes squad.Tim Paine is expected to be confirmed as Australia's wildcard wicketkeeper for the Ashes opener, nine months after contemplating retirement and seven years after his most recent Test.

Test great Ian Healy says Australia must go with Peter Nevill if they drop Matthew Wade for Ashes . Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is under pressure to retain his place in the Australian team.Source:AP.

Mitchell Johnson backs Peter Nevill as Australian keeper for Ashes over Matthew Wade . Australia should select Peter Nevill as wicketkeeper for this summer’s Ashes series and a medium pace bowler to bat at number six, former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson believes.

He was named in the Test squad for the cancelled tour of Bangladesh in 2015 and made his debut for Australia in a Twenty20 against India last year.

But his recent form behind the stumps adds an intriguing element to his value to the national side.

No mug behind the stumps

While some see Bancroft as a part-timer, he is by no means a novice with the gloves.

As a teenager, he was one of the brightest young wicketkeeping talents in the country and represented Australia in its under 19s team — but on graduating to state level, circumstances saw his role change.

Sam Whiteman was always considered the superior gloveman in WA, while Bancroft was seen as the better batsman.

To get both playing regularly for the Warriors, Bancroft evolved into a patient and steady opening batsman with the ability to post big scores.

But Whiteman has missed the start of this season because of a finger injury.

It has given Bancroft the opportunity to highlight his talent, firstly in the domestic one-day games and now in the Sheffield Shield.

It is a small sample size but — so far — he has outshone the keepers who were considered most likely to play in the first Test.

Risk versus reward for selectors

Incumbent Matthew Wade has scored a paltry 33 runs from four innings for Tasmania in the Shield this season.

Combine that with his well-documented struggles behind the stumps and it is hardly a compelling case.

The man considered most likely to replace him, Peter Nevill, has been more polished with the gloves, but his batting performances have been underwhelming. He has scored just 63 Shield runs this season.

Selecting either Nevill or Wade would be rewarding mediocrity.

Some may see it as a risk blooding an inexperienced keeper in the opening Test of an Ashes series.

But Bancroft is already a better gloveman than Wade, a far superior batsman based on current output and — at the age of 24 — could be a long-term solution for selectors.

When Starc bowls Australia's first delivery of the Ashes campaign at the Gabba, Bancroft should be the man waiting behind the stumps to receive it.

'Dependable' Paine won't let us down: Healy .
Former Australian Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy says the nation's Ashes hopes are in good hands with Tim Paine behind the stumps. Seven years after his last Test appearance in a baggy green, Paine was given a shock recall on Friday for the upcoming Ashes series starting next week in Brisbane.While Matthew Wade's position in the Ashes squad was in jeopardy, New South Welshman Peter Nevill was widely regarded as the next man up.

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