Obviously talks are going on with them: Pat Cummins on Harris and Bancroft future in Test squad
Adelaide: In the wake of David Warner’s retirement, the Australian cricket team is undergoing a strategic shuffle, and captain Pat Cummins has been proactive in maintaining communication with overlooked players Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris. Despite not making the current Test squad, Cummins reassured them of their continued consideration.
With Steven Smith elevated to the opening slot and Cameron Green returning at No. 4 against the West Indies, Cummins emphasized that Bancroft and Harris, both specialist openers, are still valued for their contributions in first-class cricket. Bancroft, the leading Sheffield Shield run-scorer last season, and Harris, with a central contract, have been encouraged to stay on course as potential replacements in the future.
“Obviously private phone calls, but no real surprises,” Cummins said in Adelaide. “We love what they both are doing in first-class cricket. We love what they bring to any side they’re playing in. They’re doing all the right things. Unfortunately, they both just missed out on this one. So (the) message was ‘don’t change’.
“In international cricket, there’s always injuries or these guys (the incumbents) aren’t going to be around forever. Marcus and Cam are still relatively young, as is Renners. So once that opening comes up at some point, any one of them we’re confident can jump straight in and do a really good job.”
Cummins, initially cautious about a batting-order reshuffle, now sees the logic behind Smith’s promotion, enabling Green to return to a more natural position. Smith, eager for the challenge, has committed to this change as a long-term solution, bringing renewed energy to the team.
The retirement of Warner and Green’s comeback not only impacts the batting order but also prompts changes in the fielding setup. Usman Khawaja assumes first slip, followed by Smith and Mitchell Marsh, while Green showcases his exceptional fielding skills in the gully. Cummins acknowledges the excitement Smith brings to the team and anticipates more scoring options with the new ball.
“Seeing someone who’s basically achieved everything in the game get really excited for a new challenge, you’ve got to entertain that,” he said. “You can already see his mind whirring about how he’s maybe going to go about it a bit differently.
“I’ve never seen him as happy and as energetic as I’ve seen him around the nets the last couple of days. He can’t wait to get out there. Also think the new ball, maybe [there will be] a few more scoring options. It’s something that excites him. So that makes sense and getting Greeny a spot where we think he is set up to succeed.”
The inclusion of Green, a versatile player providing both batting prowess and an additional bowling option, expands Cummins’ tactical arsenal. With a six-man attack and the offspin of Travis Head, the Australian captain is gearing up for a well-rounded approach in the upcoming matches.