Sheffield Shield: Matt Renshaw focused on scoring runs for Qld

Queensland batsman Matt Renshaw has been through the selection wringer too often to become fixated on snaring the Australian opener’s spot set to be vacated by David Warner after the New Year’s Test match in Sydney.

With Warner having declared that he will retire from Test cricket after Australia’s January 3-7 match against Pakistan at the SCG, there will be a vacancy at the top of the order for the team’s two-Test series against the West Indies starting on January 17.

The candidates to replace Warner include Renshaw, Victoria’s Marcus Harris and Western Australia’s Cameron Bancroft.

Harris is skipping the first round of Sheffield Shield matches giving 27-year-old Renshaw, who has had a stop-start career at international level, first crack at impressing selectors.

It’s been a long time since he played his first Test in November 2016 when he was just 20 and was then dropped the following year beginning a selection rollercoaster ride since.

Overall, Renshaw has scored 645 runs in 14 Test matches at an average of 29.31 and with a top score of 184.

He was in Australia’s squad for only the first two Test of the recent Ashes series in England before being allowed to leave.

It’s perhaps why, ahead of Queensland’s opening match of the Shield season against NSW starting in Sydney on Wednesday, that Renshaw is focused on his Bulls commitments rather than concern himself with what happens later in the summer.

“I’m just worrying about this game that’s coming up against NSW,” Renshaw said on Tuesday.

“Cricket’s that weird game where numbers do count, but at the end of the day, it’s someone’s opinion whether you do get selected or not, so you’ve just got to be on that lucky side.

“I was probably lucky when I first got picked (for Australia). and just came out (to play) as a 20-year-old with no fear of what was going on – and then cricket got to me a little bit.

“You’ve got to be on the right side of the coin and sometimes you’re not, and you’ve got to accept that. Sometimes you’ve got to accept that you’re on the good sign of the coin as well, so you can’t complain when you don’t get picked, (or) when you get picked when you shouldn’t.

“I’ll keep doing what I want, to try to achieve with my cricket and my life.

“It’s a really nice time in my life at the moment. I’ve got a little girl (Charlotte) who’s nearly 10 months old, so it’s getting really enjoyable at the moment.

“Hopefully, that can transfer into the cricket side of things as well.”

Renshaw will take confidence into the Bulls-Blues battle at Cricket Central, the new home of Cricket NSW at the Sydney Olympic Park precinct.

Last year he made an unbeaten 200 for Queensland against NSW at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval.

“I had a good game against them last year, so hopefully I can repeat that and just try to win games for Queensland because, as a team, we’ve probably under-delivered for the last couple of years since we won the Shield in (2021),” Renshaw told SENQ’s Pat and Heals Show.

Uncertain about how the Cricket Central pitch will play, the Bulls have a taken a 13-man squad that includes two spinners in Mitchell Swepson and Matthew Kuhnemann to Sydney.

Bulls: Usman Khawaja, James Bazley, Joe Burns, Jack Clayton, Matthew Kuhnemann, Jimmy Peirson, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Gurinder Sandhu, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.

Blues: Jackson Bird, Ollie Davies, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Ryan Hackney, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Kurtis Patterson, Jason Sangha, Chris Tremain.

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