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Australia's Boxing Day opener: "I've never played at the MCG"


The first and only time Matt Renshaw visited the MCG, Australia claimed a dominant victory in the Boxing Day Test.

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It’s not a bad omen for the 20-year-old as he prepares to make his second trip to the ground – this time as a player, rather than a spectator.

After a slow start on debut against South Africa last month, Renshaw made a sparkling 71 in the first Test against Pakistan in his hometown of Brisbane.

The important knock has all but assured Renshaw’s place at the top of the order for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan.

And the Queenslander admits his two-month journey from grade cricket to the Test arena is still sinking in.

“I’ve never played at the MCG,” Renshaw said.

“I’ve been there once. I went to an Ashes Boxing Day Test a few years ago. It was a great atmosphere.

“I can imagine how different it would be, going there to bat and maybe face the first ball. It would be a great experience.”

Renshaw won’t be alone for the occasion.

His parents and girlfriend are planning to make the trip south, along with his cousins, who are normally his backyard cricket partners on the Gold Coast on Boxing Day.

Speaking in Brisbane, Renshaw played a straight bat and deflected the question as to whether struggling fellow batsman Nic Maddinson was likely to survive the axe, after selectors included allrounder Hilton Cartwright in the Australian squad.

Renshaw insisted Test fortunes of teams and players could turn on a dime, citing Pakistan’s performance in Brisbane as an example.

“Anything can happen, really, in Test cricket,” Renshaw said.

“You never really expected Pakistan to score that many runs in the last innings but it’s Test cricket and it’s a challenge.

“You can see how quickly you can lose a game. If you lose a session in Test cricket, it’s pretty hard to get that momentum back.”


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