Ricky Ponting backs Bancroft as David Warner’s Test replacement


Former Australian great and three-time World Cup winner, Ricky Ponting, believes that Cameron Bancroft should be chosen as David Warner’s replacement in Test cricket when Warner retires in January. Bancroft was the highest run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield last summer, scoring 945 runs, which was almost 300 more than the next-best player.

Despite Bancroft’s impressive domestic performance, he was not selected for the Ashes in June, as left-hand batter Marcus Harris was chosen instead. The contenders for Warner’s opening partner in the upcoming Test matches are Harris, Matt Renshaw, and Bancroft. They will have another opportunity to showcase their skills in the Prime Minister’s XI against Pakistan.

Ponting argues that Bancroft deserves a Test recall due to his outstanding run-scoring record.

“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,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “If you wind the clock back about six months it might have been a slightly different order than what it is now.”

“I think they probably had Harris as the one that would come back in a while ago. 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 suggested a change in the batting order to accommodate all-rounder Cameron Green, Ponting advises against it, emphasising that Green should earn his place through strong performances in domestic cricket.

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

“[Marnus] Labuschagne has been outstanding at number three for Australia, it’s very much a specialist position.”

I could see Maxwell getting back into a Test line-up: Ponting

Ponting also suggests that Glenn Maxwell, known for his success in white-ball cricket, should be seriously considered for a Test comeback based on his recent outstanding performances. Maxwell has been impressive in ODIs and T20Is, scoring three centuries, including a remarkable 201 not out against Afghanistan.

“I could see him getting back into a Test line-up because of the all-round game that he brings in those conditions,” Ponting said. “The [201] not out in that game against Afghanistan, which is the most remarkable one-day innings I’ve ever seen. 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.”

Looking ahead to the Test summer, Ponting urges the Australian team, led by Pat Cummins, to play aggressively and aim 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.