‘There’s space for both Burns and Bancroft’


Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden says the selectors don't really have to pick between Joe Burns and Cameron Bancroft, saying there is space for both players in the new-look Test side.

With Chris Rogers retiring, and Michael Clarke also stepping away, there are two spots to fill. Everyone has punted either Burns or Bancroft to take over the Rogers slot, but Hayden says that doesn't have to be the case.

He feels that new skipper Steve Smith should bat at four, not three, meaning Burns could play at three and leave the opener spot alongside David Warner to the uncapped Bancroft.

Hayden told News Corp: "Joe Burns, he’s probably more of a long-term number three. I don't think Steve Smith is a long-term number three.

"You're looking for an opener and number three in my book. That would probably allow both of those names to have a role to play with the new side.

"You could have Burns or Khawaja (at three). Both are good players. I think Joe Burns has probably earned his spot.

"I guess it hasn't really been thought of it in this way (with Burns at three).

"That would leave you Warner and Bancroft to open, Burns at three, Smith at four, Adam Voges and all-rounder, wicketkeeper. That has a pretty good feel to it I reckon."

Former Test wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, also an opener, has backed Bancroft for the opener role, saying in the Western Australian: "He’s been selected in the Australia A team, which is usually an acknowledgement that you are in contention.

"Not only that, but he went away and scored some big runs. That’s what has been lacking at the top of the order consistently. Particularly now that the most consistent has just left in Rogers.

"Not just getting 100s, but going on and getting some bigger totals and that’s just batting time.

"That’s probably something we've lost the habit of. He’s shown he is prepared to knuckle down and do that."