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Matt Renshaw Credits Usman Khawaja as ‘Life Coach’ for Aiding Test Recall

Matt Renshaw, a young Australian opener, is set to play for Australia in the Sydney Test against South Africa for the first time since 2018. Following the injuries to Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc, the 26-year-old was brought to the team for the series finale, along with Ashton Agar. Renshaw attributed his Test recall to ‘life coach’ Usman Khawaja.

Matt Renshaw made his Australian debut as a 20-year-old and quickly came to prominence with prolific performances against Pakistan in a home series. However, a decline in form has kept him on the sidelines since 2018. Following his recall to the Test squad, the youthful opener heaped admiration on experienced Queensland colleague Usman Khawaja, describing him as his life coach.

“I have a good relationship with him. I refer to him as my life coach. He hasn’t accepted the job, but it’s not one you can accept – it’s simply handed to you. He understands exactly how I feel, whether I’m up or down, and when I need to be checked in line “An Australian media source cited Renshaw as saying.

Renshaw was axed from the national squad before to the 2017-18 Ashes and was only called in for the Test against South Africa in 2018 after the notorious ball-tampering controversy left Australia short of batting alternatives. His woes were exacerbated when he was omitted from Queensland’s Shield squad in 2020.

He made an excellent comeback to cricket after modifying his batting technique. However, the boy believes it was a mental issue that hampered his growth. He no longer feels the urge to be someone he is not, and he is content in his own skin.

“Much of it is mental. A lot of effort away from Queensland cricket, the Brisbane Heat, and Australian cricket, just doing my own thing, has really benefited me. I was 20 years old and still didn’t know who I was. I was attempting to be someone else, to be what others expected of me. So just being myself seems to have worked in the previous several years “Renshaw said.