Renshaw prepared to make middle-order switch to get time in the middle


Australia opener Matthew Renshaw says he is prepared to drop down the order in Sheffield Shield cricket if it helps him press for a Test place.

Renshaw’s best shot at a Test recall remains at the top with Queensland team-mate Joe Burns being the incumbent batsman on the shakiest ground. Still, the Bulls’ domestic ambitions and long-term goals may require Renshaw to slide down to number five in the order.

For his part, Renshaw is prepared to do what it takes to make it back to cricket’s ultimate format.

“If I bat at five, I bat at five,” Renshaw told “Obviously the coach has some important decisions to make about team make-up and if I do miss out, I’m just going to go back to club cricket and score runs and put pressure on them.

“If I put a bit of pressure on, I know I’ve got the ability to succeed.”

Renshaw, who was the first Australian to score 500 Test runs before his 21st birthday, believes that an opening batsman should be able to bat anywhere in the XI and achieve success.

The 24-year-old said: “I always think that anyone who can open the batting can bat anywhere in the order. You’re dealing with the toughest scenarios.

“I’ve been batting in the middle order in one-day cricket and T20 cricket, so I’ve got a little more experience in the middle order than a couple of years ago.

“I feel confident going anywhere. I just want to be back in that Shield team and playing as much cricket as I can.”

Matt Renshaw Cricket Australia Sri Lanka

Renshaw is eager to get the runs that will back up his belief that he is a better player now than when he burst onto the scene.

The opener took a break from the game in February citing mental exhaustion but feels he is now ready to take another crack at the big time.

“At times I feel like I’m a way better cricketer than I was when I was in the Test team,” he said.

“There’s other things that go into that in terms of your headspace and … other teams can work you out a bit better.

“But I feel like I’m a better player than I was three or four years ago, which can be a good thing, but it can be a bad thing as well.

“When you’ve scored a Test hundred, you’re doing something right. Going back in the last six months working on improving my game, you look at what I was doing then. I obviously batted for a long period of time, which was massive.

“You know that you can do it at that level, and if anything, that makes it a little more frustrating when you nick off early. You think, ‘Why can’t I do it now?’.”

The Sheffield Shield has for many years started in October, but the ongoing pandemic has thrown all schedules into disarray.