Australia have dropped Cameron Bancroft from their 13-man squad their upcoming Tests against New Zealand but the top-order batsman has been named as a standby for the three-match series.
Bancroft was part of the squad for Pakistan Tests but didn’t get a game with Australia keeping faith in David Warner and Joe Burns. The squad consists of 11 players who starred in Australia’s 2-0 clean sweep of Pakistan with two reserve fast bowlers in James Pattinson and uncapped Michael Neser.
Cricket Australia chief of selectors Trevor Hohns said they are backing their current batting line-up to continue their form in the New Zealand series which gets underway from December 12. “We are backing the current batting line-up to continue their form across the next three Tests,” Hohns said. “Whilst not a part of this squad, Cameron Bancroft remains one of the standby players. Similarly, depending on conditions, we reserve the right to add a player to the squad at any time during the series.”
However, Australia might ring in changes later in the series depending on the conditions which could lead to the addition of an allrounder or a second spinner. But their first-choice Mitchell Marsh as been termed “pretty doubtful” to be fit in time for the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests due to injury. “(Allrounder options are) thin on the ground as well, without disrespecting anybody. Of course there’s Mitchell Marsh and then there’s Marcus Stoinis and there’s young Cameron Green, who is probably not ready yet either. He’s not able to bowl too much, but he is a very good up-and-coming young player. We’d have to have a look at that if we require an allrounder, and we would only require one if we were going to play two specialist spinners in Sydney,” Hohns said.
Australia’s 13-man squad: Tim Paine (captain and wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner