Ban­croft se­lec­tion squeeze

Ren­shaw or all­rounder to miss out in first Test team

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - BEN HORNE

AUS­TRALIAN se­lec­tors will to­day de­cide what they are most will­ing to sac­ri­fice for the Ashes: Matt Ren­shaw, or an all­rounder at No.6.

West Aus­tralian run ma­chine Cameron Ban­croft can­not be de­nied for the first Test af­ter turn­ing his ton into an un­beaten dou­ble cen­tury at the WACA Ground.

Now it is up to se­lec­tors to work out how to fit him in.

Ban­croft is best suited as an opener, where he has amassed 425 runs at an av­er­age of 141.66 in 2½ games this sea­son, but that would re­quire ax­ing outof-form Ren­shaw.

The softer op­tion would be to slot Ban­croft in at No.6, but such a move would rob Aus­tralia of the pre­ferred lux­ury of hav­ing an all­rounder up their sleeve who could take pres­sure off the pre­cious pace at­tack.

In­cum­bent Glenn Maxwell is in the mix — and his per­for­mance at the MCG to­day will be telling — while selec­tor Mark Waugh said this week Mar­cus Stoi­nis was the best all­rounder in the coun­try.

Stoi­nis re­mains an op­tion, as does fel­low WA tal­ent Hil­ton Cartwright.

Ban­croft has made him­self im­pos­si­ble to leave out af­ter se­lec­tors de­manded Shield runs from their can­di­dates.

Se­lec­tors must now fit the jig­saw pieces around the righthander, 24.

He ground South Aus­tralia into the dirt with a su­perb 228no, which added to a 76no car­ry­ing his bat and 86 against a star-stud­ded NSW at­tack the week be­fore.

Ex­perts rate his de­fence as good as any bats­man in the coun­try, but he is also a run­scorer with mul­ti­ple gears — as he proved in a knock of 22 bound­aries and three sixes.

Queens­land’s Ren­shaw was stran­gled down the leg­side for one against NSW — con­tin­u­ing a run of outs that has net­ted 70 runs in six knocks this sea­son, with a best of 19.

It could be ar­gued Ren­shaw has been un­lucky this match, with a du­bi­ous caught be­hind call in the first dig, but is­sues of tech­nique and con­fi­dence are hard to ig­nore.

Se­lec­tors Trevor Hohns, Darren Lehmann, Greg Chappell and Waugh will en­ter a room this af­ter­noon, and will not emerge un­til a squad for the first two Tests is cho­sen.

It is un­der­stood Ban­croft is not be­ing con­sid­ered as keeper, with Peter Nevill set to re­claim the gloves de­spite an un­der­whelm­ing 17 yes­ter­day for NSW.

For­mer Test keeper Brad Haddin said the team did not need a keeper who scored reg­u­lar hun­dreds, just one who could bat to all sit­u­a­tions.

“We had an ex­cep­tion to the rule with ‘Gilly’ (Adam Gilchrist),” Haddin said.

“He’s a once in a gen­er­a­tion player and one of the best ever to play the game.

“It’s not so much about the hun­dreds as about where the keep­ers get their runs.”

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