Matthew Renshaw has been duped by the selectors again, and now joins the long list of Australian Test players being hung out to dry by the selectors.
Renshaw had a stellar 2018 and was so close to being recalled into the Test team in the UAE after a smashing County season. But it was not to be, with the selectors claiming that being hit on the head means you aren’t able to play Test cricket. Apparently, having scored 513 runs in England, he just hadn’t played enough cricket to get picked.
Now I really do think that missing one tour game does not mean you suddenly need to play a Shield season to get recalled, but Justin Langer does. And it is a message like this and the more recent omission from the Test team that can do enormous damage to a young player.
Why on earth would they recall Renshaw if they weren’t sure whether Joe Burns or he would open, why not name them after the tour match? And then Renshaw was shafted after one game in the reserves, why do the selectors persist with this blasé attitude to players, surely, they should have learnt from Glenn Maxwell. Even Matty Wade after seeing what average gets you selected must be mind-boggled.
When Renshaw was recalled he was averaging not a lot after another dismal start to a Shield season, and I believe that what happened in the UAE must have contributed somehow. After going out and bullying the English county attacks, Renshaw was on course for a deserved selection in the easier conditions of the UAE, until suddenly, he gets dropped because of a concussion.
What damage must this do to a player who had just dominated the County competition?
I think that surely there has to be some correlation between this omission and his shield form, imagine how he must have felt! He must have been down in the dumps wondering what on earth he has to do to be selected for Australia.
Maybe a last name of Marsh would have helped. But surely the mixed messages have to impact his form and confidence in some manner. Sure, back in the good old day they used to go back and score 1000 runs, but this isn’t then, it is now.
So, Matthew Renshaw joins the pile of Australian players given mixed messages from the selectors, but thankfully for him, he is only young. But if this precedent is set, then how will the youngsters like Will Pucovski be treated when they are in their prime?
One must consider if it is worthwhile having Paine on the selection panel, seeing as he has been through the highs and lows and is only fresh from the Shield circuit, unlike some Test players who never seem to play shield at all.
The selectors need to set a clear criterion on what needs to be done to be selected, and if players can’t reach that minimum, then we need to really look at our domestic scene. And I believe that if Tim Paine is on the committee, maybe it will bring a breath of fresh air and a new perspective on how it feels to be a shield player with no hope of selection, and not a regular go to player.