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Warner-Bancroft best Ashes pair: Lehmann

By AAP Newswire

Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann has put a line through the 'sandpaper-gate' scandal by calling on David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be reunited for the Ashes.

In naming his ideal XI for the opening Test against England at Edgbaston, Lehmann pushed for disgraced pair Warner and Bancroft to be restored as openers.

Lehmann told Macquarie Sports Radio they were both hitting peak form during the ill-fated tour of South Africa 16 months ago before their respective careers imploded.

Warner, Bancroft and then-captain Steve Smith were handed lengthy bans for their role in the deliberate ball tampering incident at Newlands.

Lehmann was coach at the time and later announced he was standing down, even though he was found to have had no direct involvement with the tampering.

While Warner and Smith have re-established themselves internationally at the World Cup and are certainties for the Ashes starting on August 1, Bancroft faces a battle for a recall.

However, Lehmann believes it is time to restore what had been working.

"The left-right balance is essential. They started to get it right in South Africa as an opening partnership, so get them back together," Lehmann said.

"Bit of a surprise there, left-right. Bancroft's done well in Durham, as captain there."

In the radio segment, Lehmann never mentioned the sandpaper scandal in advocating for the pair and a series of talkback callers didn't question him on it either.

Lehmann wanted specialist opener Marcus Harris to bat at three and Smith at four, having presumed the injured Usman Khawaja (hamstring) won't be available.

He called for Travis Head and another transplanted opener, Joe Burns, to form the middle order.

James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood are the pace bowling certainties, Lehmann said, with Mitchell Starc or James Pattinson picked as the third option, depending on pitch conditions.

The Ashes squad will be named after an intra-squad trial match in Southampton next week.

LEHMANN'S XI

David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Joe Burns, Tim Paine (capt), James Pattinson/Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.