Despite laying claim to Australia’s most recent Test century, there is still speculation over Matt Renshaw’s place in the team ahead of a tour of India.
With the squad announced on Sunday, selectors have to perform the difficult balancing act of sticking with the youngsters they blooded during the summer series and picking players suited for the vastly different subcontinental conditions.
Australia’s barren run in India stretches back to 2004’s 2-1 series win, which was the last time the team won a Test in the country.
Since the last game of that series, Australia has failed to win any of the 11 Tests it has played in India.
No-one mastered the change of conditions quite like Matthew Hayden in 2001, when he worked tirelessly to improve his sweep before heading on tour and plundering 549 runs in six innings.
Now another loping Queensland opener is hoping to emulate the 103-Test veteran, with Renshaw eager to become a better cricketer on what could be a tough tour.
“If I’m selected I’d be pretty excited and [I’ll] just try to work on a few things before we go away and just try to improve and learn,” the 20-year-old told Grandstand.
And it could be a brutal learning experience.
Renshaw knows he is in for a baptism of fire should he get picked to open again, with India boasting the top-two bowlers in the world, according to the ICC rankings.
“I think spin plays a major factor and they’ve got some of the world’s best in [Ravichandran] Ashwin and [Ravindra] Jadeja and I think probably combatting them would be the biggest challenge,” he said.
“So just working on some plans to try and combat that.”
While clearly a different beast this time around, Renshaw is hoping his previous experience in the subcontinent, however limited, will help him negotiate the dusty turners offered up in India.
He travelled to Sri Lanka in 2014 for an under-19 ODI series and struggled — averaging just 20, with 73 of his 101 runs coming in the first game.
Shaun Marsh, on the other hand, was one of the only batsmen to impress during Australia’s last subcontinental sojourn and is a chance to reclaim the opening spot he lost due to injury after started the summer with 63 against South Africa in Perth.
In August, Marsh scored an excellent 130 in the third and final Test of the ill-fated Sri Lankan tour, adding to his 141 and 81 to start his five-day career in Pallekele and Colombo back in 2011.
The Australian touring squad will be named on Sunday, with 16 players expected to travel to India in February.
Online Source: Abc.net.au