India in Australia 2015-16 February 1, 2016

Haddin critical of Bancroft selection


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Watson backs Bancroft

Brad Haddin has questioned the selectors' decision to expose the part-time wicketkeeper Cameron Bancroft by choosing him for the final Twenty20 match against India at the SCG. Bancroft had previously been in the Australian frame as an opening batsman, and his glove work at fault in a critical stumping chance offered by Suresh Raina.

Cameron Boyce beat Raina through the air and off the pitch, but the ball rebounded hard off Bancroft's gloves and eluded his grasp, allowing Raina to get back. Duly reprieved second ball, Raina played the match-winning hand for India, leaving Haddin to wonder why Bancroft had been chosen overs the likes of Tim Paine and Peter Nevill.

"I'm a bit shocked with the decision to play Bancroft, because Tim Paine had a really good Big Bash, and Peter Nevill's keeping has been outstanding," Haddin told Sky Sports Radio on Monday. "His batting's been faultless because he hasn't had to bat all summer.

"I think [Bancroft] is a tremendous character and a tremendous opening batter, I think it was a big call giving him the gloves, he only had a couple of games in the Big Bash, and last night there was a stumping missed by Raina early in his innings. My feeling's that you should pick the best keeper, especially with the World Cup coming."

Haddin, who retired from international cricket after last year's Ashes series in England, pointed out that Australia's T20 plans seemed to feature the wicketkeeper batting down at Nos. 7 or 8 in the order, so wondered why the best pure gloveman was not being chosen. He had previously explained how his own comeback to the team in 2013 had been helped by the fact that Matthew Wade's technique could not stand up to the challenge of keeping to spin in India.

"Bancroft's a part-time wicketkeeper, so I don't know how Tim Paine and Peter Nevill are feeling this morning," Haddin said. "My take's always been is it's a specialist position, the same as a spinner or an opening bowler, so you pick your best wicketkeeper.

"By the looks of the Australian batting line-up the keeper's going to bat down at seven and eight anyway, so you need them taking those half chances. I don't really know the thinking behind playing Bancroft last night. But the chairman of selectors [Rod Marsh] is a wicketkeeper. I don't really know his rationale behind it."

Australia's acting captain Shane Watson had defended Bancroft, saying he should not be held responsible for the defeat. "I think Cameron Bancroft has done an excellent job for the Scorchers," Watson said. "He had a good season and he batted very well against the Sydney Thunder out at Spotless Stadium, so in the end he performed and did a really good job.

"I haven't seen his 'keeping that much, but he also saved some crucial balls as well. It's a tough game. That ball also spun out of the rough. It was the first ball that really spun all night as well. You can't just expose a guy on debut for missing a chance. That happens.

"Even guys like Brad Haddin who played all the way through his career, it happens at times. So I would never expose a young guy. I think he's done a great job to be able to get picked and he performed when he needed to. "With the gloves, he did a really good job outside of that (missed stumping)."

In addition to taking the gloves for the Perth Scorchers due to an injury suffered by Sam Whiteman, Bancroft had also kept wicket in junior and club cricket, but never for Western Australia in first-class competition.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • brad on February 3, 2016, 19:21 GMT

    So we should of selected you Brad Haddin. Yourself and Wade would of missed that stumping but then again Bradley you were only picked in the Australian team because you played for NSW. Chris Hartley has your measure

  • Garry on February 3, 2016, 4:03 GMT

    Time for Rod Marsh to go, the game has passed him by. This selection and the continued absence of Khawaja from the team pretty much shows we need a chairman of selectors who has played the game within the last three decades.

  • Sanjay on February 2, 2016, 22:21 GMT

    @JOSE_P Whiteman continues to play for Western Australia in the domestic competition. One would hope he is next off the rank to be Nevill's back up. Unfortunately Wade does not cut it and Paine after the injury has never be on the selectors minds. After Gilchrist retired we have struggled with wicket keepers. Haddin was average to say the least. With the Chairman of Selectors being a former great gloveman one would hope he gets the wicket keeping sorted out. Based on his team selections to date it unfortunately does not provide ny confidence.

  • manish on February 2, 2016, 12:17 GMT

    It is a man who is reliable of Australian debacle in t-20 series with shameful 3-0 sweep. Consider carefully before he is selected.

  • David on February 2, 2016, 7:02 GMT

    Hopefully the stupidity of this rotation/experiment thing will now be fully apparent. I thought they learned their lesson a few years ago, when they got burned every time they pulled it out if the bag. But no, they decided to do it again. Same result. Lose everything, team becomes a mess, newbies fail and by being shuffled in and out of the team gain no sense of confidence or belonging to the set up. And the public get angered by the cheapening of the Australian cap. No wonder only Indians turned up to watch the final games. This was a disaster in every sense. The only good I can see is that most our best players got to have a rest, and thus avoid injury. Well, except for Finch. Doh! Anyway, good to see that Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels found late-career employment as Australian selectors.

    It will be interesting to see if the losing culture has now permeated the squad in NZ. That would be the icing on the cake. Or maybe, "the crud at the bottom of the barrel" is a better analogy.

  • Izmi on February 2, 2016, 5:53 GMT

    I don't think Cameron Bancroft is among the top five wicket keepers in the country to be selected to play in the final T20. His selection out of the blue has baffled everyone. We only knew that he is being groomed to take over from Chris Rogers who retired after the last ashes as an opening batsman. Neither did we notice anything exceptional in his keeping in the Big Bash to be selected for the final T20 against India where a whitewash had to be evaded to prevent further humiliation.

  • Mik on February 2, 2016, 5:36 GMT

    Wow. Brad Haddin calling for the best keeper to be picked. He'd have never have played for Australia if they took that criteria. I don't agree with the selection of Bancroft though, would have preferred Paine or Ludeman. Handscomb is a better batsman/keeper than Bancroft.

  • Jose on February 2, 2016, 4:58 GMT

    Whiteman of Australia & Sanju Samson of India played in the same under 19 WC. I was impressed with both. For lack of support, Samson is gradually fading away, with just occasional glimmer of brilliance.

    What is happening with the young man Whiteman? I had not been following Australian domenstic games for a while. Hence, wondering.

  • Terence on February 2, 2016, 4:38 GMT

    Look I am still on the Usman Khawaja bandwagon. Selectors waited till the 20/20 was done & dusted v.s. India then give him a go(all to late) now in New Zealand & I hear he has missed selection for the first one-dayer (no room in the team for him). Seeing how we did not care about the Indian series why don't we adopt the old format of rotating players & giving everyone a fair go. There must be a way of giving the best possible players every chance of getting a game. Please do it before these ridiculous selectors rush M. Clarke back into the team( I see he is going to make a come-back).

  • Xiong on February 2, 2016, 4:22 GMT

    Feels like we're blooding a new short form bowling attack just in case. Doing it against an in form India is the age old double edged sword. Good experience if they have the right mindset as they get pummeled, possible that it will do them long term mental damage. Personally I'd have thought they'd learn more with at least 1 experienced bowler to steady the ship and provide insight (Tait DEFINITELY doesn't count). If the selectors choose the same bowling attack in the WT20 I doubt I'll be able to watch, but I'm confident the main reason for it is a bigger focus on snatching back the #1 test ranking being of greater concern than winning the WT20 title, and personally I agree.

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