Australia news – Matt Renshaw reflects on ‘weird time’ after Test recall


After being recalled to Australia’s Test squad, batter Matt Renshaw has been left musing on how the last six months has been “a weird time”, but also the best of times, for him.

Renshaw is not in the playing XI, but has been named in the 13-man squad as the spare batter for the first Test against the West Indies, starting in Adelaide on January 17, edging out fellow red-ball openers Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft who were also in the mix.

When David Warner announced in the middle of last year that he would retire from Test cricket after the recently concluded Pakistan series, the race was on to find his successor, with Steven Smith now confirmed as opener after being elevated from No. 4.

But the 27-year-old Renshaw is just happy to be back in the Test environment, after learning a lot about himself since last being part of the squad during the Test series in India last year.

“It is really nice and a lot of hard work has gone into that. It has been a weird six months since Davey said what he said but I have just tried to enjoy my cricket,” Renshaw explained. “That is the big one for me. As much as all this stuff has been looming over my head, I play my best when I am having fun.

“Obviously, people come and go. That’s the way cricket is but I’ve just tried to enjoy my cricket…whether that is for Australia A, Prime Minister’s XI, Queensland and in county cricket as well.”

Renshaw has scored 1566 first-class runs at an average of 52.20, with seven centuries, since July 1, 2022. They are impressive figures and reveal his consistency.

His selection is a message from selectors that he is the next cab off the rank if he can stay on his upward trajectory. The opening position that could have been his has been taken by Smith, rather than a regular red-ball opener.

Smith volunteered to move up from No. 4 but Renshaw is not kicking stones. It is a move he understands.

“He averages 60 in Test cricket. He is the best player in the world. It gets Cam [Green] in the team as well and we all know what Cam is capable of,” he said. “Selectors talked about the top six batters in the country and there is no doubt those six guys are. It is just about me trying to learn from them while I am in the squad.

“We have got amazing players in the team but I’ve had a little nibble at Test cricket already. I know what it is like to score a hundred, and how that feels. I jut want to try and get that enjoyment and be myself around the Test team.”

Renshaw was just 20 when he scored 184, his sole Test century, against Pakistan in Sydney.

“I feel a completely different player. I look back at that and I think I was very naïve with cricket,” he said. “I came in wet behind the ears and hadn’t really had much experience with what the game can do. I’ve learned from that…tried to get better with that and tried to improve myself as a cricketer.

“That’s all-round with my game knowledge and probably some technical aspects. I look back at my technique then and it probably wasn’t that pretty. It is still probably not that pretty, but I feel like I have ironed out a few things I needed to.”

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