Bancroft, Renshaw and Harris in frame to replace Warner in Tests

Monitoring Desk

SYDNEY: Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris are the three leading contenders to replace David Warner in the Australian Test side, admitted Australia A’s head coach Adam Voges.

Out of the three, it’s Bancroft who will be getting first crack to make an impression after being chosen to play for Australia A in the two four-day games against New Zealand A.

Bancroft hasn’t played a game for Australia since featuring in the 2019 Ashes. Harris on the other hand last played in a home Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2022 and Renshaw’s most recent appearance came as a concussion substitute for Warner in India earlier this year.

Warner has already announced that he would retire from Test cricket after the third and final Pakistan Test at the SCG in early January. However, it is not yet clear if he would get to play all three Tests in the series having averaged only 22.80 in 2023 in the red-ball format.

Both Harris and Renshaw were a part of the Test squad recently in the Ashes but didn’t get to play a game. Bancroft, on the other hand, was the leading run-getter in the Sheffield Shield last summer. “I think just through (recent) history of selection, that’s probably a fair assumption,” Voges said of the three-way tussle. “With Harris the spare batter over in the UK, with Renshaw being over there as well and the runs Cameron has scored in the last 12 months, I think all three have put themselves probably at the head of the queue for the vacant spot we know is coming.

“What we do have is these Australia A games plus six games of Shield cricket to be played before we get to the Test summer, and that will be a great opportunity for all three of those guys to really put their hand up and stick their neck out ahead of the others.”

Meanwhile, the selectors have picked Marnus Labuschagne in the Australia A squad for the one-day series against New Zealand A. Labuschagne was recently dropped from Australia’s initial 18-man squad for the upcoming World Cup in India but an opportunity here will help the batter be in frame to be a backup for the showpiece event.

Matt Short, who is in line to make his T20I debut in South Africa, has also been picked in the squad. Todd Murphy, who made his Test debut earlier this year and replaced the injured Nathan Lyon in the Ashes recently, gets an opportunity as well to make an impression in white-ball cricket.

The one-day matches will be played on September 10, 13 and 15 respectively. The four-day series commences on August 28. The second four-day game will be played under lights from September 4.

Australia A four-day squad: Wes Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jordan Buckingham, Ben Dwarshuis, Caleb Jewell, Campbell Kellaway, Matthew Kelly, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nathan McAndrew, Nathan McSweeney, Joel Paris, Jimmy Peirson, Mitch Perry, Josh Philippe, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Tim Ward

Australia A one-day squad: Wes Agar, Ollie Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Liam Hatcher, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Ben McDermott, Todd Murphy, Josh Philippe, Matthew Renshaw, Gurinder Sandhu, Matt Short, Mark Steketee, Will Sutherland, Ashton Turner

Courtesy: (Cricbuzz)