Matthew Renshaw says Steve Smith will thrive as opener

Matthew Renshaw says he is a “completely different player” from his previous Test experiences and ready to embrace his new role as a utility batter after being recalled for the series against the West Indies.

The 27-year-old was overlooked to open the batting as David Warner’s replacement but said Steve Smith, who was given the nod, was the “best player in the world” and more than capable of succeeding at the top of the order.

Renshaw said Cameron Green was one of the best six batters in the country and needed to be in the Test team, and vowed to use his experience with the squad to enhance his prospects of breaking in to the side.

“Selectors talked about the top six batters in the country and there is no doubt those six guys are,” he said after turning out for the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday night.

“It is just about me trying to learn from them while I am in the squad

“We have amazing players in the team but I’ve had a little nibble at Test cricket already.

“I know what it is like to score a hundred, and how that feels.

“I just want to try and get that enjoyment and be myself around the Test team.”

On picking Renshaw, national selection boss George Bailey confirmed his flexibility was key but the Queenslander was the next-best overall batter, ahead of the likes of Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris.

“The fact that Matty has batted a bit in the middle, that’s not to say that Marcus or Cameron couldn’t,” Bailey said.

“Just as we’ve seen a lot of guys go up from the middle order to go and open the batting for Australia, I’m sure there would be plenty of guys who open the batting to go and bat in the middle order as well.

“Ultimately we are trying to pick our best six batters. As it stands, we see Matthew Renshaw as the next best.”

Renshaw is the only one of that trio with a Test century, an enormous 184 against Pakistan in Sydney during his first stint in the Australian team as a 20-year-old.

That stint lasted 10 matches and included tours of India and Bangladesh before coming to an abrupt end.

He added another one-off match as a replacement during the sandpaper scandal in South Africa in 2018.

A five-year-exile ended with matches against South Africa and India last year, again as an injury replacement.

This time around, with significantly more cricketing experiences under his belt, Renshaw is taking a different approach.

He is confident that should he get his chance, wherever it may be in the batting line-up, he’s ready to grab it with both hands.

“I feel a completely different player,” he said. “I look back at that and I think I was very naive with cricket.

“I came in wet behind the ears and hadn’t really had much experience with what the game can do.

“I’ve learned from that … tried to get better with that and tried to improve myself as a cricketer.

“That’s all round with my game knowledge and probably some technical aspects.

“I look back at my technique then and it probably wasn’t that pretty.

“It is still probably not that pretty but I feel like I have ironed out a few things I needed to.

“That is the big one for me. As much as all this stuff has been looming over my head, I play my best when I am having fun.”

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