BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 25: Michael Neser of the Bulls bowls during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between Queensland Bulls and New South Wales Blues at The Gabba on October 25, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

With the most famous cricketing rivalry fast approaching, Australia unveiled a 17-man squad for the first three tests of this year's Ashes.

With the all-important World Test Championship final prior to the highly-anticipated England tour, Pat Cummins and co will be primed to be at their best and look to become the first Australian side to win an Ashes series on English soil since 2001.

George Bailey, chief selector for the Australian Men's national team announced the squads for the WTC final and Ashes series on the 19th of April. The list included the surprise inclusions of Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Harris, and Josh Inglis as the trio make their return to the longest format of the game.

"Marcus (Harris), Josh (Inglis, reserve keeper) and Mitch (Marsh) return to the squad and will provide valuable depth and flexibility within their respective skillsets," Bailey said.

With every squad announcement comes a set of players that have been snubbed, here in this article we take a closer look at those names and identify the reasonings behind their omissions.


5. Cameron Bancroft (Western Australia)

Bancroft tops this list after his surprise omission despite being the leading run-scorer in the recently concluded Sheffield Shield season. While Bancroft has not featured for his country in the longest format since the last Ashes tour in 2019, he has been racking up the runs in the domestic circuit.

When the Western Australian's name comes up, most think of his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa, however, he has been steadily putting in the hard yards with the bat. Bancroft hit 945 runs at an average of 59.06, smashing four centuries along the way in this summer's domestic season. He was also the only player to score more than two centuries.

Instead of going with the man in form, the Aussie selectors went for veteran opening pair Usman Khawaja and David Warner with Matthew Renshaw and Marcus Harris being their backups at the top of the order. In comparison to the latter two, across the last three years in Sheffield Shield cricket, Bancroft scored 2125 runs at an average of 48.3, whereas Harris piled up 1618 runs at 46.23 and Renshaw with just 1220 runs at 43.27.

With the opening positions more important than ever for the visitors in a huge series away from home against an aggressive English outfit, Bancroft remains on the receiving end of a bold decision by the Australian cricket board.