How Matt Renshaw turned out at the Bull Ring on Red Bull

At the beginning of the summer of 2017-18, Matt Renshaw endured the first truly horrific race of his professional career: a six-entry stage in Sheffield Shield worth 70 races that dropped him from the Australian test team. Four months later, when the ball-handling scandal broke out in Cape Town, he ran from a Shield final to a Test in Johannesburg, rising above Red Bull to open the Bull Ring batting.

Renshaw is now in the UAE with the test team, with new coach Justin Langer, who had a productive season with Somerset in the County Championship (accumulating three centuries and 513 runs in six games).

But on the morning of March 25 in Brisbane, Renshaw I woke up to see his cousin (and housemate) sitting dazed on the couch. "Have you seen what happened?" His cousin asked him. Renshaw joined him on the couch to see the images of Newlands ball manipulation. Then he went to play the third day of the Shield final.

"Pat Howard was on the floor and talking to all the coaches," recalls Renshaw, as he watched Alastair Cook's bat for Essex in Chelmsford. "Then Wade Seccombe pulled me aside and said: 'You may have to prepare to go to South Africa.' I had nothing for me other than that and I thought but we're playing the Final of the Shield, he's pretty serious. And he said he had to be prepared to go over. "

Two days later, he woke up with a call from Trevor Hohns, president of Australian national team, confirming that hunch.

"He said he needed to get on a plane." Renshaw helped Queensland win the title before he had to leave that afternoon, having no idea what awaited him on the other side. Sure enough, it was the cricket version of the twilight zone, Bancroft still with his teammates, preparing to fly into chaos at home.

"I was like, 'Gee, this is full'," says Renshaw. "I just did not know what to say."

Then, while addressing the Wanderers for their training race the day before dusting his loose green, an unusual edict came up: "We got off the bus and the security manager told us to deliver our phones. We had never delivered our phones before. "

When Lehmann entered the locker room, he was red-eyed." He was sitting in the corner trying to figure out what was going on. As he said [that he was resigning] people started to fall apart. I just did not know how to feel because I had been off the side for six months. I was confused. And, obviously, he was quite upset; Boof was my coach when they chose me for the first time and he has done a lot for my cricket, but since he was far from that side, it was a difficult position. "19659002] It crossed his mind that in another world it could have been the Bancroft's character in this sad story? "Yes, I've thought about it," replies Renshaw. "If [David Warner] comes up to you and tells you to try this, I do not know if you should put yourself on that stage, but you never know what's going on behind it. of the closed doors and what they tried to do. , in what is quite difficult to think, how would I have reacted? But you never knew until they pushed you on that stage. "

" When we played in India, it was a bit hot, but in all of them, we talked about how to play skillfully and not with emotion. That's something I learned from that tour "

Renshaw says that Warner "once in a while" made him have a hard time, but it tests the familiarity between the couple.

"When I was on the side, the times I would be shameless, I was attracted It was good for me at that time to learn about when to do things and certain scenarios, especially with batting, but when we are in the middle, we work very well I think he potentially sees a little bit of me in him, hopefully, I can learn from some things that have happened in his life and when to get that cheeky side in. There may have been times when he got it out at the wrong time. " .

Renshaw had been playing golf in a group that included Warner the day he realized he would not make his Ashes debut last November.

During the fall of Renshaw in form, in retrospect, he understands that he perfected his survival mechanisms so well that he came up with the expense of his attempt to score – Lehmann asked him to travel to the National Cricket Center in Bris. Forgiveness for facing the attack of Australia's first choice before the selection.

"I overcame that without going out and I felt really confident and he gave me a second breath, so I thought he was going to be fine and get into the Test. The series feels pretty good," says Renshaw. "To stay behind after that was quite confusing, since I had gone and beaten in front of them, I was hitting very well and I had a bit of hope."

Renshaw's depression coincided with the brilliant form of Bancroft, which means that the two clashed in a virtual Race to open with Warner. This was highlighted by Langer, then coach of Western Australia, who publicly backed his man, Bancroft.

Renshaw is at peace with what happened. "The only way I [Bancroft] was going to play was if I fell, so [Langer] wants his players to be chosen and that's completely understandable." I went and spent some time with [Langer] a couple of times while they were [in England] for the ODI to know him, hopefully before a fruitful testing campaign, it is about knowing him as a person ".

But it was also the WA team that gave Renshaw a bad time. He lost his test place, in the WACA Shield match that was played when the ashes started in Brisbane. "They were chirping," Renshaw smiles. "That's when I asked myself if I was really enjoying the cricket I was playing at that moment because I was not doing well and I was thinking too much about the game."

He took an unplanned stage of T20 with the Brisbane Heat on the BBL for Renshaw (he played only one game) to feel at peace with the game again. In turn, he began to score on the Shield again after Christmas, which makes him the obvious man to fly next to Test when Bancroft was banned. Fed up with energy drinks, he threw himself into the Wanderers garden in a sign to the onlookers that he, on the other hand, would not be making the moves.

"I knew that my role there was to provide a lot of energy, I knew that if I could bring that to the field and the dressing room, it would relax many people who had been there two months by then and everything that had happened before was mentally exhausting. By entering the final test, I think we were just trying to get back to where we were before and try to recover the Australian public. "

To the extent that the exhaustion reported to the saga of Cape Town, Renshaw can not judge from the distance he was when the wheels fell. However, he did detect a change between what he was watching on television during the summer marathon compared to the emphasis he had had inside the camp a year earlier during another series of taxes, for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

"When we played in India, it was a bit hot, but in each meeting we talked about the game of skill and not emotion, that's something I learned from that tour: try to be the best team without letting our emotions they beat us because if we do that and then our skills will diminish. "Seeing some of the things that happened when I was out of place, I thought:" Are you still with that? The mantra & # 39; skill not emotion & # 39 ;? But you just do not do it. I know because you're not on the side. "

It will be a different Australian team that will take to the field in Dubai on Sunday, just as it will be a different Renshaw, it defended itself markedly for Somerset, finding the kind of balance between defense and attack He has seen it favorably compared to another Queensland Australian hitter: Matthew Hayden.

He received a premature blow to the helmet when standing on a short leg. The Australian prep match against a Pakistan A team in Dubai last week and there are doubts about whether he will be fit or ready to open in the Tests, but after his problems last summer and the extraordinary turn of events that took him to Johannesburg, Renshaw is better prepared for what is coming. [19659025]


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