DURHAM head coach James Franklin has backed Cameron Bancroft to end his slump at the crease, beginning with his side’s Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Sussex.

The Australian enjoyed a strong start to the season in the Royal London One-Day Cup, scoring match-winning centuries in victories over Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.

However, Bancroft has not been able to translate that form into the first-class game, mustering only 213 runs in nine innings at an average of 23.66.

Despite his struggles, Franklin is confident that the 26-year-old will find his form due to his work ethic and is hopeful that a flurry of runs will start against Sussex at the 1st Central County Ground.

He said: “Cameron is frustrated about his performances. He’s doing everything well, but he’s just finding ways of getting out at the moment. I had a chat with him the other day and he’s just so keen to get a big score. I have no doubt when that score comes we’ll see a run from him.

“Hopefully that happens in the first innings against Sussex and over the next few weeks that he does go on a run. He’s going to have to work extremely hard to get that breakthrough and that’s the case for any batsman that’s out of form. When you’re out of touch in the middle it takes hard work and sometimes a bit of luck to get the knock and then kick on from there.

“One of Cameron’s greatest strengths is that you would never know whether he’s scoring mountains of runs or not at all. He’s extremely consistent as a bloke about how he goes about his training and preparation around the group. It’s also realising that he is frustrated within himself and eager to lead from the front. I’ve got every confidence in him that he will take the next opportunity.”

Durham were frustrated by the weather when the final two days of their County Championship contest with Northamptonshire at Emirates Riverside were abandoned. It denied the club a chance to build on their momentum from their first win of the campaign against Derbyshire.

Franklin’s men sat out the latest round of Division Two fixtures, but return to action after 10 days of rest. The New Zealander has insisted his team have to be at their best from the off against Sussex starting today, who defeated Durham by seven wickets earlier in the season.

“I don’t think it’s a reflection of where we are that we should be frustrated with the washout,” he added. “We got a good win against Derbyshire, which was good for the camp after losing the opening four games. It was nice to get our first win in the Championship, and the Northants game was pretty evenly poised, although they might have just edged their noses in front before the rain.

“You cannot help the weather which has affected the county game as well as the World Cup. We knew what the schedule was before so we know that we have a busy period coming up now and tough games. If you look at Sussex they’re one of the form teams in our division then we have Lancashire at the top of the table so it’s a tough time for us and we have to play well.”

Durham are bottom of Division Two ahead of their match at Hove.