Renshaw hones mind craft in Test recall bid

Joel Gould |

Matt Renshaw’s treating the PM’s XI clash with Pakistan just like another game, not a Test audition.
Matt Renshaw’s treating the PM’s XI clash with Pakistan just like another game, not a Test audition.

Opening batter Matt Renshaw knows he has the technique and ability to succeed in Test cricket for Australia, but it is the work he’s done on his mindset that has him ready to embrace a recall.

The 27-year-old Queenslander will play for the Prime Ministers XI on Wednesday against Pakistan in Canberra in a four-day game that has been tagged a virtual selection trial to replace David Warner when he retires after the third Test against the same opposition.

Renshaw and fellow opening contenders Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft will also participate in the match. 

After being in and out of Australia’s side in a 14-Test career across seven years, Renshaw has learned to handle the rollercoaster of professional cricket.

Elite athletes utilise various methods to enhance their mental edge including practising mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques.

Matt Renshaw.
Queensland’s Matt Renshaw leaves the field after losing his wicket against South Australia. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Renshaw has discovered what works for him.

“It is about communicating,” he told AAP.

“When I was struggling I would keep it all locked into myself but at the moment I am trying to be open with my feelings and the way I am thinking with people close around me.

“Everyone at this level has pretty similar ability. It is how you work out the mental stuff that is the biggest challenge.

“You look at all the guys at the top level of their sports and they have a better mindset and way of dealing with failure than others.

“Obviously there is the technique stuff that I continue to work on but I have tried to work on my mindset away from cricket and my mindset while I am batting.

“I work with some people away from cricket that know me well. It has been a long process trying to work on that.”

Renshaw’s determination to not stress over things he can’t control came to the fore when he outlined his attitude to the “selection trial” at Manuka Oval.

“I just see it as another game of cricket,” he said.

“I know it is the job of the media to talk about selections but I get to play with 10 cricketers who I will hopefully get to know better, and hopefully get a win with. That is our job.”

As for the possibility, put forward by coach Andrew McDonald, that Marnus Labuschagne might be moved up from No.3 to open post-Warner, Renshaw was pragmatic.

“Whatever the Australian selectors think is best is what will happen and me saying anything is not going to change anyone’s opinions. Whoever deserves the job will get the job,” he said.

Renshaw started the season with two Sheffield Shield half-centuries and two hundreds – one apiece in the Shield and Marsh Cup –  but runs have been hard to come by in recent four-day games with some good deliveries on challenging pitches getting him out.

“People decide how your form is based on your runs but I feel like I am batting as well as I have and that my game is tracking really well. That is all I can control,” he said.