Cameron Bancroft has dismissed talk of any rifts between him and David Warner, insisting that along with Steve Smith, the trio had "stuck by each other" during their bans for the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town last year.
"Yeah, I've spoken to Dave … I think all of us, including Dave, have been really challenged through this period of time," Bancroft said. "I know that all three of us have really stuck by each other and looked after each other well," said Bancroft in an interview with ABC ahead of his first Sheffield Shield game for Western Australia since returning from a nine-month suspension.
"I guess moving forward there will be great lessons for all of us, including Dave. That's something we've all shared with each other and something I've certainly shared with Dave when we've communicated throughout this entire journey."
The 26-year-old's interview with Adam Gilchrist during the Boxing Day Test against India had garnered a lot of negative responses, with former Australian cricketers including Ricky Ponting saying that Warner was "thrown under the bus" by Bancroft. The opener in the interview had claimed that it was Warner who had suggested that sandpaper should be used to alter the condition of the ball during the Newlands Test.
Bancroft said that there were a lot of "really powerful lessons" learnt through his nine-month ban and that the interview with Gilchrist was done to share the same.
"I felt like I had some really important learnings which I really wanted to share with people, which was why I wrote my letter (to myself) and which was why I did that interview with Gilly," Bancroft said.
"There were some really powerful lessons I learned through my journey that I wanted others to connect and to share with. But if I was able to touch people through some parts of my journey, and to help them I guess break through (in) their lives, that was my sole intention for that."
While Smith and Warner's bans will end on March 29 (though their immediate return is in doubt with both players nursing injuries), Bancroft had an impressive return to domestic cricket as he carried bat during a classy 138 against New South Wales.
With Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch not doing much to cement their places in the Test side, Australia's opening slot still remains undecided and Bancroft said that all he can do now is play good cricket for WA and Durham so that he can put his name up for Ashes selection later this year.
"As far as what is in my control is these four Shield games for Western Australia, I've committed to playing county cricket with Durham County Cricket Club in the winter as well, so as far as I'm concerned they are the things that I can control and look forward to and put my energy into," he said.
"I think I love the game far more authentically now. It's the enjoyment of you know, being there with your mates, it's the enjoyment of the little things like the feeling of the ball hitting the middle of your bat, the feeling the banter you have with your teammates, the feeling of actually helping your mates at training.
"I think those little things about the game, you know at times you get caught up in some unhealthy values that playing at the highest level can sometimes present - at the end of the day it's a game of cricket, and it's nice that that's why I play the game (now)," Bancroft said, making his point that he's not looking too far ahead.