Matt Renshaw, a left-handed batsman, thanked Usman Khawaja for his support during difficult times and for assisting him in making a Test comeback.
Renshaw was called up for the New Year’s Test against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground after Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green were ruled out with injuries.
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At the age of 20, Matt Renshaw made his Australian debut. He quickly gained notoriety for his prolific performances against Pakistan during a home series. But since 2018, a decline in performance has forced him to sit out games. Usman Khawaja, a veteran member of the Queensland team, was hailed as the young opener’s life coach after his selection back into the Test squad.
“He’s someone I’m quite close to. I call him my life coach. He hasn’t accepted the role, but unfortunately for him, it’s not a role that you can accept – it’s just given to you. He knows me quite well, he knows when I’m up or down, and knows when I need to be checked in line as well,” Matt Renshaw was quoted as saying by an Australian media outlet.
“I was trying to be someone else”: Matt Renshaw
Renshaw was cut from the national team prior to the 2017–18 Ashes and was only reinstated for the Test match against South Africa in 2018 when the infamous ball-tampering controversy left Australia without any available batsmen. His agony was made worse in 2020 when he was cut from Queensland’s Shield team.
“A lot of it is mental. A lot of work away from Queensland cricket, away from the Brisbane Heat, away from Australian cricket, just doing some of my own stuff, which has really helped me. I just sort of grounded myself. As a 20-year-old, I still wasn’t sure who I was at that point,” he stated.
“I was trying to be someone else, trying to be what people wanted me to be. So just making sure I am myself has seemed to have worked in the last few years,” Renshaw added.
With a points percentage of 50, South Africa is currently in fourth place in the World Test Championship (WTC) points table despite being down 0-2 in the Test series with Australia.