Ricky Ponting Backs Cameron Bancroft To Replace David Warner
By CricShots - Nov 30, 2023 11:51 am
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Australian cricket legend and former captain Ricky Ponting has thrown his weight behind Cameron Bancroft for a Test recall, suggesting that the prolific run-scorer should replace David Warner when the veteran opener retires in January. Bancroft, who topped the Sheffield Shield runs chart last summer with an impressive tally of 945 runs, was surprisingly overlooked for the Ashes in June, with left-hander Marcus Harris preferred instead.

David Warner and Cameron Bancroft

With the upcoming Test matches against Pakistan looming, the competition for Warner’s opening partner is intensifying, with Harris, Matt Renshaw, and Bancroft all vying for the coveted spot. The Prime Minister’s XI clash against Pakistan will provide another opportunity for these contenders to showcase their skills and stake their claim for selection.

Ponting, a staunch advocate for rewarding consistent performances, believes Bancroft’s exceptional run-scoring record should earn him a Test recall. “If you look at those three guys, I think it’s quite clear that Bancroft is the one that’s got the runs on the board and I wouldn’t be surprised if they [selectors] go that way,” Ricky Ponting was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

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He acknowledges that the situation might have been different six months ago, with Harris initially considered the frontrunner. However, Bancroft’s recent form has shifted the momentum in his favor. “If you wind the clock back about six months it might have been a slightly different order than what it is now,” Ricky Ponting admitted. “To me now it sort of feels [there’s] a bit more of a groundswell behind Cameron Bancroft getting first crack.”

While Australia’s coach Andrew McDonald has hinted at a potential batting order reshuffle to accommodate all-rounder Cameron Green, Ponting advises against such a move. He believes Green should earn his spot in the Test team through consistent performances in domestic competitions.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting

“I think Cameron Green might just have to sit back and bide his time and wait for the opportunity to come back,” Ricky Ponting opined. “He can get a truckload of runs in Shield cricket and sort of force his way back into the side.”

He further emphasizes that Marnus Labuschagne has firmly established himself at number three, making it a specialist position. Ponting also throws his support behind the potential Test comeback of Glenn Maxwell, a player renowned for his white-ball exploits. Maxwell’s recent stellar performances in ODIs and T20Is, including a remarkable double century against Afghanistan, have caught Ponting’s attention.

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“I could see him getting back into a Test line-up because of the all-round game that he brings in those conditions,” Ricky Ponting said. “The [201] not out in that game against Afghanistan, which is the most remarkable one-day innings I’ve ever seen.” He elaborated on Maxwell’s unique talent, stating, “I’ve been around a lot of games, watched a lot of games, played a lot of games; I’ve never ever seen anything like that.”

As the Test summer approaches, Ponting urges the Australian team, led by Pat Cummins, to adopt an aggressive approach and strive for convincing victories.

“I’d be saying to go as hard as you can and just really try to bury these teams and win as convincingly as you can,” Ponting concluded.