Renshaw called into Australian Test squad

Matt Renshaw says he’s far better prepared – both technically and mentally – for another shot at Test cricket.

The 26-year-old Queensland batsman is in contention to play his first Test since 2018 after being chosen in an extended Australian squad for next week’s SCG clash against South Africa.

Even it he doesn’t get chosen in the final 11 in Sydney, Renshaw is poised to tour India with Australia in February, with his ability to bat anywhere in the top six and his much-improved play against spin bowling making him an attractive option.

“The boys have been going so well this summer, it’s been awesome to see, so to be back in the fold and around about there has been really exciting,” he said.

Renshaw was only 20 when he made his Test debut as an opening batsman at the Adelaide Oval in November 2016.

He quickly became the first Australian batsman to score 500 runs before turning 21, but his career soon stalled.

Renshaw was dropped after 10 Tests, before being recalled for just one Test in March 2018 in South Africa after the suspensions of David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith for ball tampering.

Poor form led to him being dropped by Queensland in February 2020.

However, Renshaw fought back, reinventing himself as a middle-order batsman, where he starred for the Bulls before returning to the top of the order this season.

“I’ve come a long way in six years, and probably come a long way in the last couple of years,” the towering left-hander said in reflecting on his rollercoaster journey since his Test debut.

“It was quite raw for me growing up in that environment. rubbing shoulders with a few guys who are absolute legends of the game, opening the batting with Davey (Warner) who has just had his 100th Test, but definitely a learning curve for me as a person and as a cricketer.

“I’ve improved a lot as well, but it is what it is with cricket. You can go through a rich vein of form where you feel unstoppable, and I feel like at that point I was just running on a massive high … (but) I still wasn’t sure who I was.

“I was trying to be someone else, trying to be what people wanted me to be.”

Renshaw said being “himself” had “seemed to work” for the past few years.

“I just keep trying to grow as a person,” he said.

“(There were) a couple of technical tweaks that I did after I got dropped from the Queensland team. I made a few changes … but a lot of it is mental.

“A lot of work away from Queensland cricket, away from Brisbane Heat, away from Australian cricket … just doing some of my own stuff which has really helped me ground myself.”

Renshaw’s recall to the Test squad came after he made a duck for the Heat in Brisbane’s BBL loss to Sydney Thunder on Thursday night.

“It was quite strange to get a phone call (from Australian chairman of selectors George Bailey) after you make a duck and a loss, but it was a nice little pick-me-up after a disappointing night,” he said.

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