Just over six weeks ago, the Australian batting line-up was a mess. The team was coming off an embarrassing loss to South Africa in which they had scored 85 and 161 in their two innings. The selectors needed to make a change.
In came Matt Renshaw, a 20-year-old Queenslander who had played just 16 first class matches but was touted as a traditional opener who did not give his wicket away easily, exactly what Australia needed at the time. With him came Peter Handscomb, who has well and truly solidified his spot at No. 5 with 399 runs at an average of 99.75 in his four tests.
But for some reason, Renshaw is yet to have his spot confirmed for the upcoming tour of India, despite a brilliant knock of 184 in the most recent test against Pakistan at the SCG. Australian coach Darren Lehmann has suggested that the experienced Shaun Marsh, a proven player in the subcontinent, may come in for the young opener.
The selectors must stick with the 20-year-old. He has showed he can handle international cricket. His calmness and patience at the crease are exactly what Australia have been missing since Chris Rogers retired, not to mention he’s a skilled slips fielder.
Yes, Shaun Marsh has demonstrated he can handle the tougher conditions of Asia. However, if the selectors truly believe that Renshaw is Australia’s opener of the future, then they must play him in India. The only way he is going to improve and grow as a player, particularly in the subcontinent, is experience.
There is a chance it will be a tough series for the opener, but the experience he will gain will be invaluable for his development as a test batsman.