Australia have knocked out from the ICC World Cup 2019 after losing against England in the semi-finals. However, they are preparing for the Ashes which is their nex tournament. The Australian National Selection Panel have selected 25 players for an all-Australian intrasquad encounter in Southampton in the upcoming week, which will decide the final squad for the Ashes first Test against England on August 1. Bancroft has been selected in the 25-member squad.
The 25-member squad consists of those 15 players who are in England playing with Australia A, seven members from the World Cup side and the other three players, Peter Siddle, Cameron Bancroft and Marnus Labuschagne, who are currently playing County cricket now, have been named.
This is going to be the first time that Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner will be in the same squad since the ball-tampering scandal took place in South Africa last year which left them ban from the International cricket. While Steve Smith and David Warner have been in great form since the IPL days, Bancroft also has been playing well for Durham.
“Cameron was making a fair amount of headway when he played Test cricket last for Australia and that was in South Africa,” said Trevor Hohns, the national selector. “What he’s done is he’s got on with business since he’s been able to play again. He’s playing with Durham in the County Championship, so he’s doing everything he possibly can to get himself back into consideration and back into the Australian squad.”
“He’s scoring runs on a pretty regular basis so he has been included in that 25-man squad along with two others playing county cricket,” he further added.
The intrasquad game will be played from July 23-26 and will be 12-on-12 affair. However, that wouldn’t get the first-class status but the competition is expected to be interesting as the performances will decide the final 15 for the Ashes which will be announced after that. Alex Carey, who has done pretty well in the World Cup and has been named with the other three wicket-keepers alongside Test captain Tim Paine and Matthew Wade.
“He’s proving himself to be a very smart cricketer,” said Hohns. “He played very well in the World Cup. Batting-wise he was very, very good. He showed calmness in a lot of diff situations. He’s been very impressive. We’ve been very impressed with his glovework for some time now so he’s progressing nicely.”
However, all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis didn’t get a chance in the squad as they had a rather forgettable World Cup.
“Let’s put it this way: We consider the 25 that did get chosen for this game as more in contention than those guys,” Hohns expressed. “It’s unfortunate but that’s just where we’re at right here and now.”
“In one way it is a shame that some players will have to miss out as every player in Southampton will have a strong case for inclusion in the Ashes squad, but the positive is that this group shows we now have a degree of depth, which stands us in good stead both now and in the middle term,” he added.