Fri, 29 May 2020

County cricket catch-up: Labuschagne prods the selectors

23 Jun 2019, 17:42 GMT+10

9:50 PM ET

With the Australia A tour of England having begun here's a quick look at the form of the Australians who are plying their trade in county cricket and which ones have a chance of catching the selectors' eyes in the final push for Ashes places.

Cameron Bancroft (Durham)

We've had the comeback stories of Steven Smith and David Warner over the last few weeks. Will Bancroft add his name to the list during the Ashes? That opportunity is probably drifting away after a lean time for Durham. His last six innings have brought a top score of 40 and he is averaging an underwhelming 23.66 from five Championship matches, albeit in a Durham line-up that has struggled for runs throughout. With Joe Burns currently recovering from his chronic fatigue there may yet be a spot for a reserve opener, behind the likely first-choice pair of David Warner and Marcus Harris, but at the moment a call-up would seem unlikely.

Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan)

It is worth remembering that Labuschagne is an incumbent member of the Test side having faced Sri Lanka earlier this year and it has been a promising few weeks for the allrounder as he has helped Glamorgan climb the Division Two table. He now has 704 runs at 64.00 including three centuries, one of which was a career-best 182 against Sussex, and his legspin has collected 16 wickets at 32.18. Australia appear to have moved away from a seam-bowling allrounder at No. 6, but Labuschangne's ability to provide more-than-useful overs over a crammed five-Test series could yet keep him in the frame.

Callum Ferguson (Worcestershire)

Ferguson's international days appear behind him, destined to remain with that single Test cap against South Africa in Hobart where he was swiftly discarded after a crushing defeat. He was in the mix for a one-day recall earlier this year, but that ship also sailed for the 34-year-old. Runs have not flowed by the bucketload in recent weeks at Worcestershire, with one half-century in four matches since the Championship resumed after the one-day competition, although he has had to contend with two particularly strong attacks in Lancashire and Middlesex.

James Pattinson (Nottinghamshire)

The Ashes beckons for Pattinson and after overcoming a niggly side injury, coupled with a lack of overs due to the recent wet weather, he was back to full force with 6 for 73 against Kent albeit in what became a heavy defeat for Nottinghamshire. Tim Paine has spoken about saying prayers that Pattinson can stay fit to play a role against England with him potentially being earmarked for the flatter pitches during the series. He is due to link up with the Australia A tour shortly and all eyes will be on how he builds over the next month ahead of the Ashes selection.

Peter Siddle (Essex)

It has since been admitted that not playing Siddle until the final Test of the 2015 Ashes was a major mistake - compounded by the fact he then took six wickets in the dead rubber at The Oval. There has been much talk of him getting another go this time around having found a new lease of life over the last couple of seasons, but it has been a quiet for weeks for him with eight wickets in his last three Championship outings. He has not been included in the Australia squad because of his county deal and he might yet need a couple of compelling performances to avoid drifting down the pecking order.

Chadd Sayers (Gloucestershire)

It is probably a longshot for Sayers, who has one cap under his belt from the Johannesburg Test last year, to claim an Ashes berth and there has been some toil since he arrived to replace the injured Daniel Worrall at Gloucestershire. In his most recent outing he claimed 3 for 91 in a runfest against Leicestershire that included two triple-century stands.

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