Test hopeful’s emphatic message to selectors

Matt Renshaw has bolstered his chances of replacing David Warner when the veteran’s Test career closes out this summer, notching up a century on day three of the Prime Minister’s XI match against Pakistan.

Warner is aiming to retire from red-ball cricket after January’s SCG Test against Pakistan, although selectors could dash his plan if he struggles against the visitors.

For Renshaw, his century couldn’t have come at a better time, as he competes with WA’s Cameron Bancroft and Victoria’s Marcus Harris for the top-order spot.

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Despite cruising to the end of day three on an unbeaten 136, Renshaw knows the weight of his century ahead of the Australian Test summer.

Even though he put himself in the prime position on Friday, Renshaw admitted that he’s “been in this position” before, so knows what to expect when it comes down to selection.

“I’ve been in this position for the last few years now, so if it comes down to one game, then so be it,” Renshaw said post day three.

“Probably ever since I’ve moved to Victoria, I’ve felt I’ve proved myself enough, especially in domestic cricket.

“Whether or not in international cricket, that’s up for debate and other people’s opinions.”

Despite being left stranded on 99 at tea on day three at Manuka Oval, Renshaw steadied himself and brought up a ton after the break.

The 27-year-old brought up his 21st first-class century and one of the most important in his quest to again pull on the baggy green, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing to 100.

With a lucky missed catch by the Pakistan wicketkeeper and first slip while Renshaw was on 87, as well as a likely edge that wasn’t given out earlier in the day, Renshaw survived a bowling onslaught to remain at the crease.

Meantime, his competitors for Warner’s spot also made respectable totals.

Bancroft notched up a 53, while Harris fell one run short of a half-century at the top of the Prime Minister’s XI order before Renshaw took control.

As for the result of this match, it is likely to end in a draw due to the slow batting conditions.

Harris conceded there wasn’t much happening with the pitch at Manuka Oval.

“She’s a bit dead and it’s been hard to score quickly,” Harris said on Fox Cricket.

“It’s not the most bowler-friendly wicket I’ve played on.”

Despite his inability to reach a half-century on day two, the Victorian is still confident in his pursuit of a Test recall.

“Always trying to do my best,” Harris said.

“I feel like I’m batting well and my game was in order yesterday.”

The Prime Minister’s XI concluded day three on 4-367, trailing Pakistan by 24 runs with six wickets remaining. 

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