Strangers in whites: Smith’s blind auditions

With the Australian side constantly on the road, Steve Smith hadn’t even seen the two Test hopefuls in the nets, let alone a game.

Coach Darren Lehmann’s dossier is equally thin.

When asked what kind of player Bancroft was, Lehmann admitted he had little idea.

“I don’t know him well enough yet, to be perfectly honest. I’m looking forward to spending some time with him if he gets selected,” Lehmann said on Tuesday.

“They reckon he’s a ripper kid, Justin Langer speaks highly of him, as you’d imagine.”

But surely Lehmann and Bancroft had crossed paths a few times over the years?

“Once. Same with Fekete,” Lehmann said.

“I don’t think Steven Smith’s even faced or seen Fekete play.”

So we turned to David Warner, who could find himself opening with Bancroft this summer, for more info.

“I’ve shaken hands and played against them a couple of times,” Warner said with a smile.

And that was about it.

Lehmann is hoping the rest of Australia knows a lot more about Bancroft and Fekete by the end of the summer.

“That’s the exciting thing with the selection panel, that they get to see the guys more than obviously we do,” Lehmann said.

“We’re always playing or touring and it’s good to see the young guys come in and see what they’re about.

“We think highly of all our younger players. You’ve got to find that balance between age and young and youth and excitement and performances first and foremost.”

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