CRICKET: Cameron Bancroft is trying to feed off his opening partner David Warner's insatiable self-belief as he fights to play his way out of a form dip and into Australia's Test squad for South Africa.
The 25-year-old rookie has struggled ever since his debut Test and there is pressure on him to fire in the Ashes finale starting in Sydney tomorrow as batting candidates Joe Burns, Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb lodge their claims.
England have gotten on top of Bancroft, particularly with the short ball, but Bancroft said he would not waste energy worrying about his job security.
Instead he wanted to be a man of action who simply went out and did something about it at the SCG.
Warner always views the game with a glass-half-full attitude, and even when he's going through a lean patch, backs himself until the big hundred is made.
Bancroft has witnessed Warner do just that this series, bouncing back from missing out in Adelaide and Perth to producing a blazing performance at the MCG.
Renowned as the hardest trainer in domestic cricket, Bancroft realises he must work on his game just as thoroughly.
"I've learnt he (Warner) brings a lot of positive intent to the crease and that's been really, really good for me to be part of and for me to be able to bat with him,” Bancroft said.
"He's scored a hundred and an 86 in the last game, but even he's gone through periods early in the series where he was challenged.
"To watch him learn from that and keep trusting himself and keep backing himself, he's got no fear to go out and play his game.
"Playing at this level it's all about confidence and all about belief. The only way you can do that is by action.”
Meanwhile, Australia's fast bowling spearhead Mitchell Starc upped his bid to play at the SCG, participating in fielding drills yesterday before spending more than 30 minutes bowling off his full run-up.
Starc missed the fourth Test at the MCG because of a bruised heel but is desperate to return for
the SCG series finale.
Starc, who rolled his arm over for a longer duration than Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird during the session, then had a long chat with the team doctor and physio.
"I haven't spoken to him but he looked like he was bowling quick, running around and not limping,” Cummins said.
"He's really keen to play and pretty confident he can play. They'll see how he recovers.
"He's played a lot of cricket now. He knows his body pretty well and what he can get through.”
Steve Smith sat out training yesterday due to a sore back but the skipper is expected to have a hit today then play the Test that starts tomorrow.
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