PMs XI; Matthew Renshaw, Cameron Green in the runs against Pakistan

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Every run was crucial for Test hopeful Matt Renshaw batting for the for the PMs XI in Canberra so the gift of seven off a single ball against a lacklustre Pakistan outfit was welcomed as he racked up a notable century as debate rages over who should replace David warner in the Test team in January.

Renshaw proved the standout of three batters thought to be in a “bat-off” for Warner’s spot when he hangs his baggy green following the third match of the upcoming series, with a raft of theories being bandied about.

After Renshaw’s would-be rivals, Marcus Harris (49) and Cameron Bancroft (53) failed to take advantage of good starts on Thursday, the Queenslander put his foot down on Friday as the touring bowling attack struggled on a pitch offering little assistance.

Renshaw enjoyed a positive 86-run stand with Cameron Green, who made 46 ahead of his departure to join the Test squad in Perth, and moved in to the 90s with an edge between the keeper and first slip which went to the boundary as the Pakistan duo looked at each other in frustration.

He went to tea unbeaten on 99 then reached up his 21st first-class century after the break off the 251st ball he faced with the Pakistan attack only able to snare three wickets to that point, as the PMxs XI passed 300, less than a week out from the first Test in Perth.

Renshaw’s milestone came after a bizarre moment before lunch when he brought up his 50 in what seemed normal fashion, pushing a drive through the covers at Manuka Oval for three runs.

But without playing another shot, Renshaw moved to 54 when a throw to the keeper from Pakistan star Babar Azam failed to be collected cleanly, and went off to the boundary for four overthrows.

It added seven runs to Renshaw’s score in a single ball, which some could see as the sort of luck which should a positive sign when it comes to selectors making their call on Warner’s possible replacement.

Harris tried to downplay the notion of the game being a “bat off” for Test selection having.

“I’ve been in this position for the last few years now, so if it comes down to one game, then so be it,” he said.

“Probably ever since I’ve moved to Victoria, I’ve felt I’ve proved myself enough, especially in domestic cricket.

“Whether or not in international cricket, that’s up for debate and other people’s opinions … my last couple of Tests I felt like I was just starting to get going and then things out of my control didn’t go my way.”

There have been a raft of theories thrown up as to who should replace Warner, with the trio of openers put behind players including all-rounder Mitch Marsh and even Glenn Maxwell by some commentators.

Australian legend Adam Gilchrist threw up Maxwell’s name should Australia look to mimic England’s “Bazball” style of all-out attack from batters.

Marsh has several supporters and n Friday, Test captain Pat Cummins said that while he’s “not a selector” but the idea of moving the all-rounder up top was a “possibility” with three matches to be played before a decision is needed.

“It’s a possibility. You’re open to anything really. I’ve seen him make that shift in white ball cricket,” Cummins said at the launch of Fox Cricket and Kayo on Friday.

“(He can) put the pressure back on the opening bowlers, hit them off their lengths. You never say never but he handled No.6 in the Ashes pretty impressively.”

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