Matt Renshaw has already lived up to expectations in his opening pair of Tests for Australia but couldn’t quite hit the mark set by his parents after he laid the groundwork for a dominant first day by the home side at the Gabba.
The 20-year-old opener’s 71 helped Australia to 3-288 at stumps against Pakistan in the day-night Test in Brisbane, with his first Test half-century lovingly compiled in front of Toombul clubmates, who had a Matt Renshaw mannequin along for the occasion, sitting in the seat Renshaw had booked for himself before his meteoric rise.
Not in attendance were his parents Ian and Allison, who flew to Adelaide for his debut but were on hand to attend the university graduation of his sister Hannah. They had planned to make it for the evening session but Renshaw couldn’t quite stick around, nicking one off Wahab Riaz to end his contribution.
“They came to Adelaide and Hannah’s graduation is a really big thing for her. Unfortunately I wasn’t still in when they finished there and they couldn’t head over,” Renshaw said.
“They told me I needed to be 80 not out at the dinner break but I couldn’t do that. I’ve let them down.”
Renshaw took some heat for his careful batting while steering Australia home over South Africa in Adelaide and went along more briskly on Thursday, with his innings taking 125 deliveries and including nine boundaries.
He showed an impressive range of shots, moving his feet and sweeping leg-spinner Yasir Shah and playing square of the wicket and down the ground in the familiar Brisbane conditions.
He said he felt he had nothing to prove and stuck out some searching new ball spells before cashing in when the opportunity arose.
“I just went out there and batted and got a few balls in my areas and tried to put them away. Fortunately they went to the boundary today,” Renshaw said.
“I was a little bit more nervous this morning than I thought I would [be]. But as soon as I walked onto the ground and heard the anthems I was more excited than nervous really.”
At one point captain Steve Smith had to encourage Renshaw to calm down after a few false strokes but even then the youngster looked assured and contained as he went about his business.
“They’re a good measure.They offer the insights you don’t normally get. To have the experience out there is amazing. I was getting a few too many shots out there and Steve told me to calm down and watch the ball,” he said.
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