Cameron Bancroft is preparing to wear the baggy green for the first time in the Ashes cauldron against old rivals England but the uncapped Australian thought his chance was gone in 2015, according to former Test batsman Adam Voges.
Bancroft was set to make his Test debut two years ago but the cancellation of Australia's Bangladesh tour due to safety concerns robbed him of that dream.
However, the 25-year-old is in line to step out as a Test player in Brisbane on Thursday, replacing Matt Renshaw thanks to his blistering form for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield, including scores of 76 not out, 86 and 228 not out.
Voges, who featured in the 2015 Ashes series against England and was a Western Australia team-mate of Bancroft's, revealed the in-form batsman struggled to get over the abandonment of the Bangladesh trip.
"Cameron made it impossible for selectors not to pick him. That's what I love to see – guys completely bashing the door down," Voges, 38, told Omnisport.
"While it's tough on Renshaw, he is young and probably out of a bit of form at the moment. I think that was the right call to leave him out heading into such a big series without many runs under his belt. I'm sure he'll get other opportunities."
Voges continued: "Cameron will relish it [the occasion]. The build-up and the hype, it's certainly more than other series that you tend to play in.
"I'm sure he's enjoying all of that at the moment. I think the biggest thing for him is knowing that his game is in really good order. He scored some big runs at the start of the season. I think the runs that both he and Shaun [Marsh] got against virtually the Test attack, held really good weight. I'm sure they took a lot of confidence out of that.
"I've obviously watched Cameron really closely over the last few years. He was terribly disappointed that the Bangladesh tour didn't go ahead.
"It probably took him a little while to get over that, thinking that may've been his opportunity to get a baggy green."
While the selection of Bancroft was not a huge surprise, the decision to recall Tim Paine and Shaun Marsh to the Test arena was.
Paine was plucked from the Test wilderness ahead of wicketkeepers Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill, despite last featuring for Australia in the five-day format in 2010.
The 32-year-old's return raised eyebrows due to his lack of time behind the wickets, having not kept for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield this season.
"Whenever an Ashes squad is picked, there's always been some debate. I guess there's been one particular left-field selection that many didn't see coming. I certainly didn't see it. I thought it would've been Peter Nevill or Matthew Wade," Voges added.
"I know Tim really well. He's a good mate. I think he would've been the first to say he was surprised with it as well. It's a bold call to pick someone who hasn't done a lot of keeping for their state in the last couple of years. It's a gut call or going with their hunch really more than performance or anything like that.
"Time will tell. Selectors will be hoping that they've got it right. Knowing Tim, I'm sure he's capable of doing the job. But it's really tough for him in my opinion. To be thrown into the Ashes cauldron on the back of not playing a lot of first-class cricket. It's going to be a tough ask for him, but knowing him, he will be up for the challenge."
As for Marsh, the 34-year-old received an eighth Test recall and is set to bat at number six despite scoring just 236 runs at 39.33 in the Sheffield Shield.
But ex-Western Australia team-mate Voges said: "Shaun, when he's playing well and his body is holding up which is the most important thing, he's definitely in our top six batters in the country.
"He's scored four Test hundreds, which barring the other guys in the squad, I don’t think anyone outside of that has scored more. He has a lot of experience at international level now. To go into such a big series like the Ashes, hitting the ball pretty well, I see that as a good selection."
24 de marzo 2018
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