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Renshaw ready for Ashwin test if opportunity comes in India

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Published in Cricket
Tuesday, 24 January 2023 16:54
If Matt Renshaw gets a call-up to Australia's Test side on the upcoming tour of India, he says he will be as prepared as ever to take on spin maestro R Ashwin.
In 2021 Ashwin became the first bowler in history to take 200 wickets against left-handed batters. The 26-year-old Renshaw will tour with fellow top-six left-handers David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey is also a lefty, so the challenges ahead are immense in the four-Test series that starts next month.
Renshaw would play in the middle order if selected for the current side. When Australia toured India in 2017, he played all but one innings of the four Tests as an opener. Ashwin got him out just once, in the first Test at Pune, but not before he had top-scored with 68.

"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 told AAP. "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.

"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 is still part of the Brisbane Heat's BBL campaign and has been preparing for India by having the spinners in his team, such as Mitch Swepson, Matt Kuhnemann and even Marnus Labuschagne, bowl the SG ball at him that is used in Test cricket in India.

"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 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."

Renshaw returned to the Test team this month in Sydney against South Africa to replace the injured Cameron Green after previously playing in that format in 2018.

He did so on the back of strong form in first-class cricket. The new father to baby daughter Charlotte has observed close friend and team-mate Khawaja's mindset towards his cricket and has learned to enjoy the moment, rather than worry about selections.

"I am feeling good with my cricket. I am just rolling with any punches and enjoying myself," Renshaw said.

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