Matt Renshaw might be just 26 but he is one of those cricketers who have had the experience of playing in India from the current Australian setup. Whilst his numbers aren’t pretty, the left-hander had played four Tests in the country, averaging 29, and had the daunting task of facing Ravichandran Ashwin at his best.
But things since then have changed for the good for Renshaw, who has made a switch from the top-order to the middle-order, where he calls batting at No.5 his home on his return to the Australian setup. The left-hander reckoned that he is well aware of his game now, and is a lot comfortable against spin.
"I think two years batting at No. 5 helped me with facing spin. I know my game a lot better now and I am a lot more comfortable in different situations. We have a strong squad and it is going to be hard to push my way in, but I know that I will be ready if I do get a chance,” Renshaw told AAP.
Renshaw was one such rare batter from the 2017 series who did not get dismissed a lot of times against Ashwin. In fact, the left-hander was only dismissed once in the entire series despite facing well over 220 deliveries against the off-spinner. The 26-year-old spoke about the challenge of facing Ashwin, and it wasn’t the ball that turned away from him.
"Ashwin is difficult to face. He is a smart bowler with a lot of variations and he uses them very well, but you do get used to him once you've faced him for a while," Renshaw added.
"I think the big challenge from Ashwin and any offspinner in spinning conditions to a left-hander is the lbw threat. Obviously everyone thinks about the one that turns and gets you caught at slip, but the big one is the lbw when it doesn't spin. You just have to be ready for that one."
Unlike the previous years, this Australian setup under the coaching of Andrew McDonald have done away with tour games, which means that they will have to replicate the conditions back home. Renshaw talked about that, stating that the plan was knock the SG ball around but given that the Brisbane Heat have thundered their way to the final, the plan has to wait.
"The SG ball is a bit different, so we are just trying to prepare as well as we can during this BBL schedule if we get a window to hit red balls," Renshaw said. "It is a lot different, the conditions in India, so we are trying to replicate them as much as we can.
"The plan was if [the Heat] got knocked out we'd do some prep with the [Australian] team in Sydney, but we just kept winning and are in the finals now. We have got a good week and a bit in India before the first Test, so there will be plenty of time to prepare there as well."