With the cricket selectors attempting to do everything in their power to ensure that the Australian XI sent to England for the Ashes is not only the best possible, but also the best possible at the best possible time, it will be interesting to see if they turn a cold shoulder on Cameron Bancroft.
Bancroft is back with a vengeance in Sheffield Shield cricket. His most recent outing for Western Australia saw him score 86 off 263 balls over the course of a five-hour innings.
That performance came on the back of a seven-hour stint in the first innings where Bancroft smashed 138, bringing his total 279.
Unfortunately, despite his heroics, WA was not able to come up with the 198 runs needed to force New South Wales to bat again.
NSW finally saw Bancroft out for the first time in the match with the fall of the seventh wicket.
NSW bowler Steve O’Keefe was the primary agent of WA’s demise, as he shredded the lower order for 5 – 52 off 33.2 overs.
If Bancroft continues his torrid pace, it will be hard to overlook him, but if he were to be snubbed, it would seem obvious that his penance is not yet complete.
Another chasing a spot for the Ashes squad is Victoria’s Marcus Harris.
Harris made 174 from 197 balls. He offers the selectors the additional benefit on not needing forgiveness for anything, even if August and the Ashes is a long way off.
Harris had 23 boundaries and a six, but his prospects are coloured by the imminent return of David Warner, who received three months more than Bancroft for his role did in the business in South Africa.
Harris has two centuries to his credit for his summer Shield work and looked serenely composed when he reached the 90s, where it is not uncommon for players to get jittery at the prospect of reaching three figures.