Selectors to pick Ashes XI on Wednesday

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    The fate of Australia’s Ashes aspirants will be decided when selectors meet on Wednesday, with Matthew Renshaw’s achievements in the baggy green likely to help him hold onto a spot in the XI.

    Coach Darren Lehmann and captain Steve Smith made it clear a long time ago that two spots were up for grabs ahead of the five-Test series against England.

    Hilton Cartwright and Glenn Maxwell loom as frontrunners in an open field for No.6, while former keeper Peter Nevill is expected to be recalled at the expense of Matthew Wade.

    Uncertainty has also spread to the top of the order in recent weeks, with speculation growing that incumbent opener Renshaw faces the axe.

    Monday’s knock of 16 means Renshaw has tallied 69 runs from five digs for Queensland in the current Sheffield Shield season.

    The left-hander is far from an automatic selection.

    However, Mark Waugh reaffirmed on Monday the selection panel will not forgot Renshaw’s seamless transition to the highest level.

    Renshaw made his Test debut after playing just 12 first-class games. He impressed last summer, averaging 63 from four home Tests, while no Australian has scored more Test runs prior to their 21st birthday.

    “Like everybody he would have liked more runs so far in the season we’ve had here but we know what he can do,” Waugh told reporters at Triple M’s season launch in Sydney.

    “He’s obviously got a good chance of playing … I don’t think there’s any cricketer who hasn’t been under pressure at some stage.

    “His record for Australia is very good.

    “He’s batted in some tough conditions in India and played well, and played well last summer.

    “You’re going to go through these low periods, so Matt has just got to handle that and I’m sure he’s good enough to do the job.”

    Waugh is nominally Australia’s Twenty20 selector – and his view of Renshaw could yet be challenged by chairman Trevor Hohns or fellow selectors Greg Chappell and Lehmann during Wednesday’s meeting in Brisbane.

    But in Renshaw’s favour is the absence of challengers demanding a call-up. None of the other candidates have excelled throughout the opening three Shield rounds.

    “No.6 or No.7 … there’s – not question marks – but probably a few more options,” Waugh admitted.

    Waugh dismissed Ricky Ponting’s suggestion that Cartwright had already been picked, but admitted the national search for a game-breaking allrounder continues to prove fruitless.

    “There’s no real outstanding allrounder around at the moment. Marcus Stoinis is probably the closest to a batsman who could probably get you three or four wickets,” Waugh said.

    “The other guys are batsmen who bowl. That’s what we’ve got in front of us, so that’s what we’ve got to pick from.

    “In the ideal world you’d love an allrounder at six who bats and bowls, who can score a hundred and take five wickets like Ben Stokes.”

    © AAP 2017