While he prepares the national side for an ODI series in India, Australia coach Justin Langer is thrilled by what he's seeing in first-class cricket back home.

Test incumbents Marcus Harris (95 and 174) and Kurtis Patterson (134) posted match-winning hundreds for their respective states in the most recent round of the JLT Sheffield Shield, while Australia opener Joe Burns made 60 and 80 in the Bulls' loss to Tasmania.

Former Test opener Cameron Bancroft marked his return to red-ball cricket with a marathon match against NSW, facing 621 balls across both innings the third most deliveries in Shield history for scores of 138 not out and 86 in his first first-class match after serving a nine-month ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering incident last March.

Langer praised all four players for their deeds with the bat, none more so than Bancroft.

"Great credit to him, to come back and to face 600 balls," Langer said.

"Not just for Cameron, for Marcus Harris to play like he did, Kurtis Patterson, Joe Burns I'm really proud of all of them.

"Really proud of Cameron Bancroft the way he went about his business to bat so long, as I was for Marcus Harris to go and have a match-winning innings."

But what delighted Langer the most was how these players are creating fierce competition for spots in the Australia side.

Australia's depth has been tested since the bans of Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner and while the results have been mixed since the events of Cape Town, it has allowed a new generation of players to be blooded at international level.

Those red-ball players are now in a shootout for the Ashes, with fewer spots up for grabs than there were this summer with Smith and Warner expected to return to face England from August 1 in Birmingham.

All of this is a huge positive for Langer, who wants to see all domestic and international players pushing each other to new limits for places in the Australian side.

"To play in the Australian Cricket Team there's 11 spots, and it should be hard to be in the Australian Cricket Team," he said.

"We are so proud of what we've done in the past, where we're going and it should be really hard to be in the XI.

"That competition is so healthy and it's great, it's what we've been talking about and at times mocked for, but that's what we want in Australian cricket.

"In the first XI, the 15 that are here (in India) and the guys just outside we want that competition.

"That's what's made Australian cricket so strong for so long and that's a really positive thing I reckon."