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England stint aids Renshaw's Test push

9th January, 2019
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9th January, 2019
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Figuring it out for himself during a prolific English stint has helped Matthew Renshaw climb back to the brink of a Test recall.

The 22-year-old is in the mix to open for Australia at the Gabba later this month against Sri Lanka after winning a spot in the squad alongside Bulls teammate Joe Burns and incumbent opener Marcus Harris.

The recall comes despite averaging 19 in this season’s Sheffield Shield, with Ashes-minded selectors relenting and citing his recent record in England when reading out his name on Wednesday.

Renshaw belted three hundreds while scoring 513 runs in 11 county innings for Somerset, helping him to the top of the world’s first-class run scoring charts by June last year.

“It’s really important as Australian cricketers to enjoy a new set up and work on our games probably on our own,” Renshaw, who was born in England and counts Joe Root as a childhood friend, said.

“We have coaches, but there’s a lot more onus on working out things by yourself.

“And it was about showing I could do it in another country as well.”

A broken finger ended his county stint and concussion meant he was overlooked for the Pakistan Test series in the United Arab Emirates.

And a lack of runs to start the Shield season meant Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch were preferred for the Indian series.

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But he has found them elsewhere, stroking a state-record 345 for Brisbane club Toombul late last year.

Following a third recall to the Test arena, Renshaw understands the lay of the land and isn’t over-complicating things despite the prospect of a bat-off in next week’s CA XI tour game against Sri Lanka to secure his return.

“I’d just think about it too much and put pressure on myself,” he said of the selection scenario.

“I’ll just go out there and try and win the game; if we can win that game it gives us good momentum as a batting group going into the first Test.”