Renshaw gears up for Tests with timely ton

MATT Renshaw started the day steering a tractor and finished it in the drivers seat of a different sort with a robust comeback century in Brisbane Premier Cricket on Saturday.

Opening batsman Renshaw arrived home on Thursday hungry for practice after not being required for two Test matches against Pakistan in the UAE and immediately agreed to play for his club Toombul against Souths at Ken Mackay Oval.

Play was late starting due to a wet outfield and while Renshaw had to wait 36 balls before getting off the mark on a deck taking some early seam he then scored at a run a ball pace for the remainder of his innings.

Once set, he worked his way nicely through the gears to make 145 not out off 174 balls as his side cruised to 1-277 at stumps on a day when fellow Test aspirant Joe Burns made 216 for Norths.

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Matt Renshaw on the tractor for Toombul.Source:Supplied

Soon after arriving at the ground Renshaw helped teammates take off the covers and drove them off the ground in a tractor.

Renshaw appears close to a certainly to play the first Test of the summer against India after being a surprise omission from the Test side in the United Arab Emirates.

“It hurts because every human would be disappointed to miss out and that is a good sign because it shows how much I want it,’’ Renshaw said.

“Having been out of the side over the past year it has been a tough year but it is good to have people I can fall back on and come back and play grade cricket with guys I have known for the last eight or nine years.

“I just need to score runs and have some time in the middle. We have a few Shield games to prepare and not even worry about what is happening in the summer.

“We won a Shield with Queensland last season and hopefully we can do it again because not many teams have been able to go back to back.’’

Justin Langer, coach of Australia, speaks with Matt Renshaw during the Test against Pakistan at Dubai International Stadium. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Renshaw suffered a bout of concussion after being struck fielding at short leg in a warm up match and was not keen to jump under the lid for Toombul, quipping it was time for one of the younger players to step up.

“I am completely clear now,’’ he said. “My two big bouts of concussion have been at short leg so I will try and stay away from short leg, especially in grade cricket. One of the younger guys can do that.

“(At higher levels) I would be concerned about fielding there but if the captain or coach told me to field there I would. At 22 I am still one of the younger guys and that is where they generally go so I will just have to deal with it without worrying too much.

Renshaw was suitably inspired by Usman Khawaja’s marathon first Test century against Pakistan which he branded the best innings he has seen.

“The thing that stood out for me was how tough it was out there. I went out to look at the pitch a few times and the rough which was there for Yasir Shah and the left handers was really tough and it was like batting on a little minefield.

Matt Renshaw said being omitted from the Test team in the UAE hurt. Picture:Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“The way he was reverse sweeping Yasir Shah – I have never seen an innings that good. It was unbelievable.’’

Renshaw spent the Australian winter having a successful stint with English county Somerset where he linked with a batsmen he has long admired, former Test opener Marcus Trescothick.

“He is so valuable for all the guys whether they are young or old – he is 42 and still playing cricket so you can take a lot from him and I got a lot of little gems of wisdom from him.

“I remember watching him and liking the way he just played the line of the ball really well. He played and missed a bit but he played the line and the ball when it seamed would go past his edge.’’

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Originally published as Renshaw gears up for Tests with timely ton

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