Renshaw puts new spin on Test return

Dec 26, 2017 - 10:52 PM Matthew Renshaw has received some left-field praise from his Big Bash League coach Daniel Vettori as he plots a return to the Test arena.

Renshaw was dropped ahead of the Ashes series after a run of nine Test knocks without a 50 and six straight scores below 20 in Sheffield Shield cricket, with in-form Cameron Bancroft preferred at the top of the order.

Bancroft cruised to an unbeaten 82 in his debut at the Gabba, but scores of 5, 10, 4 and a laborious 25 on Tuesday have ensured questions remain over his place in the side.

Pace trio Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander await when Australia arrive in South Africa for a four Test series that begins in March.

Renshaw scored an unbeaten 51 in his most recent Shield innings, but is unable to press his long-form batting claims until Shield fixtures resume on February 8.

Instead Vettori, in his third season as Brisbane Heat coach after playing with the BBL side in their first three years, said Renshaw was using his time with the franchise to become a legitimate all-rounder.

While impressed with the tall left-hander's presence at the crease at training, it is the 21-year-old's off-spin that had the coach talking this week.

"I've been really impressed; he's willing to adapt his game," Vettori said.

"His off spin is pretty decent and he's a good fielder."

It is high praise from the former New Zealand captain, whose left-arm orthodox spin netted him 362 wickets across 113 Tests.

The coach described Renshaw as a "future project" for the Heat and said there was no point complaining about the lack of first-class cricket on offer during the BBL window.

"He was in the Test squad when signed to the Heat, so I didn't think we'd have him but it's been good to see him in the flesh," Vettori said of Renshaw.

"The schedule is out and that's how it is, but he's been happy to work on different parts of his game and work on that (three-pronged) skill set."

The Heat welcome Chris Lynn back from shoulder surgery for Wednesday's sold-out Gabba clash with the Sydney Thunder, while Joe Burns (groin) is in the squad but less likely to be deemed fit to play.

Source: AAP

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