Bancroft demanded Ashes spot, others were mediocre – Hohns
Australia national selector Trevor Hohns called on players to improve on "mediocre" performances, admitting only Cameron Bancroft demanded Ashes selection.
Bancroft was among several surprise selections by Australia for the first two Ashes Tests against England, beginning with the series opener in Brisbane next week.
The 24-year-old has scored 442 runs at an average of 110.50 for Western Australia in three Sheffield Shield games this season.
Hohns said only Bancroft had truly pushed for selection as the right-hander was included in the squad, along with the likes of Tim Paine and Shaun Marsh.
"It took us quite a while because there were several contenders for various positions as everybody knows," he told a news conference on Friday.
"There were a lot of under-performers as well. We really didn't have anybody jumping out at us to demand selection, except for Cameron Bancroft, who put a case forward that was irresistible.
"That's what we're asking our players to do now, not mediocre performances. We want to raise the bar so we want some of them now belting the door down with performance to keep the pressure on the boys that have been chosen.
"I think that will make our whole competition, our whole Australian setup, our Australian side, a lot, lot stronger, if there is good competition for positions."
442 - Cameron Bancroft has hit the most runs, most sixes, and has the highest batting average of any player this Sheffield Shield season. Ready. pic.twitter.com/ba7JKQejcW— OptaJason (@OptaJason) November 16, 2017
Marsh, 34, was also a surprise inclusion to take the spot at number six, having scored 236 runs at 39.33 in the Shield so far this season.
Hohns said the selection of the left-hander should provide a boost to others over 30 to push their cases.
"I would think it's the type of selection that is warranted and secondly it also displays that we're not just not here to pick a development side as has been touted a little bit in the past and that's just a nonsense," he said.