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Renshaw hopes to stand tall in India

Cricket

Batsman Matt Renshaw has no experience in India but believes his height will be an asset against the home side’s highly-rated spinners.

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The left-handed opener is honing his skills on slow and turning pitches designed to replicate subcontinental conditions at the ICC Academy in Dubai ahead of the four-Test series in India.

The rangy 20-year-old is confident his 185cm frame will allow him to play the ball early – an ability crucial to smothering spin and avoiding the threat of being out LBW or bowled.

“I think sweep shot will be a big one for me,” Renshaw said.

“I will just try to stay low and use my reach. As a tall bloke, I probably have got that advantage over some of the other guys. But they have some more advantage than me in different parts.

“I can get to the turning balls faster than short guys without moving my feet too much.”

Renshaw, who averages 63 in his four Tests, is no guarantee for first crack atop the order when Australia meets India in the first Test in Pune, starting February 23.

He is believed to be locked in a battle for a spot in the XI with Shaun Marsh, who has had success on the subcontinent.

Renshaw said his preparation has included seeking advice from fellow Queenslander Matt Hayden, who averaged over 50 in India in 11 matches opening the batting.

“He (Hayden) has just told me to embrace it over there and get as much experience as I can,” Renshaw said.

“I am 20-years-old and going over to play in one of the hardest places in the world. So I will just try to embrace it and enjoy the challenge.

“I hear certain things from certain players but you never know until you get over there. So looking forward to the challenge.”

Meanwhile, Nic Maddinson’s indefinite absence from cricket has prompted messages of support.

Maddinson’s leave for personal reasons continues with his non-selection in NSW’s Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland, starting on Friday.

The batsman was a late withdrawal from the win over Victoria this month, with Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW saying he would not be available for selection until further notice.

They have requested Maddinson’s privacy be respected.

Maddinson, 25, was part of a young batting trio to make their Test debuts in the day-night third match against South Africa in Adelaide last November, batting at six.

He was dismissed for a duck on debut, before registering scores of 1, 4 and 22 in innings against Pakistan.

Unlike Renshaw and Peter Handscomb who have maintained their places in the Test squad, Maddinson was dropped after three Tests for allrounder Hilton Cartwright.

“Hopefully Maddo can get back to where he needs to be and that’s playing really good cricket and the Sydney Sixers, because I think he’s an unbelievable talent and he’s a nice kid as well,” Victorian paceman John Hastings told RSN radio.

Retired fast bowler Damien Fleming, who played 20 Tests for Australia, questioned his Test selection, and speculated the left-hander is mentally and physically exhausted after being axed.

“He got lucky. I don’t think he should have been picked for that Test match,” Fleming told RSN.

“Generally, even if you’ve been dropped, you’re still invigorated and you’re trying to get back in there.

“I would be thinking for Nic Maddinson, ‘you would be having the rest of the summer off, and you need to clear your mind and you need to reset’.

“If he’s in this frame of mind, he’s going into the game with no thoughts of enjoyment. He’s only seeing a negative outcome.”

Maddinson was unable to recapture form in the recent BBL, failing to register a big score for the Sydney Sixers in seven matches.

He made his Test debut after averaging 38 from 58 first-class games for NSW, with two tons and an 86 in the 2016-17 Sheffield Shield season.

-AAP

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