Whilst Cameron Bancroft does okay opening the batting for Australia’s Test outfit, his predecessor Matt Renshaw is sniffing for a recall at the earliest opportunity. Since the turn of the year the nearly twentytwo-year-old has reeled off First Class scores of 56, 32, 170, 0, 112, 12, 3, 143* & 8. If the opposition get him early then fair enough but if they don’t then the Middlesbrough lad cashes in. Remember that he’s got a Test high of 184 and averages just shy of 37.
Back to Bancroft. He produced one good knock during the 2017-18 Ashes and under huge pressure for his place, has made starts and got one fifty in South Africa. It’s a good little battle for the Australian selectors to have being played out. Western Australia’s Bancroft has three or four years on Renshaw and experience of opening at county level in England for Gloucestershire that will serve him well. Queensland’s Renshaw is clearly made of tough stuff though, even if he recently rather naively conceded five penalty runs!
Don’t forget Renshaw’s domestic partner Joe Burns either. He had a bit of a stinker in his last Test but he’s still only 28 and has three Test tons to his name. South Australia’s Jake Weatherald is another one to keep an eye on, though he’s failed to convert starts this term. Travis Dean is another who despite not backing up the absurdly good start to his First Class career, has recently notched up a couple of hundreds. His average is a disappointing 34 exactly but six tons seven fifties is a good conversion rate. Remember that opening the batting isn’t easy. I should know because I’ve done it in Division Seven of the Nidderdale League and Division Five of the Harrogate and District Evening League!!!
Like Renshaw, another player from the north of England worth keeping tabs on is Charlie Hemphrey. Despite a duck on First Class debut, the Doncaster native registered a century early in his Australian domestic career and following a difficult time thereafter, has made hundreds in each of his last two outings. Twentyeight-year-old Hemphrey has produced these performances batting at four for Queensland. Burns, Renshaw and Hemphrey helping contribute to a strong batting order.
Current Test incumbent David Warner is only thirty-one so there’s life in the old dog yet and unlike some, he seems committed to the Test cause and not yet seeking a purely T20 franchise existence.
Competition for the opening slots for Australia’s Test side is scorching hot and the selectors will be chuffed at the tough decisions to be made.
The tiny twirler tweaks the first victim of her career!
Admittedly 6 months old is probably a little early to send someone out onto the cricket field, so we’ll have to imagine that we’ve gone forward in time a bit. Based on my daughter’s physique and the way she turns her wrists, I’ve got her down for a bit of right-hand wrist spin bowling and a lower order right-handed bat, primarily a worker of ones and twos. If in real life she turns out to be a left-arm pace bowler and left-handed six-hitting bat who keeps wicket part-time then I’ll have been proved very wrong in my assumptions!
Anyway, she’s signed for Leeds and unlike my last career, following a few patches by Big Ant, she and her teammates will be up against the local opposition that I selected. That’s Hull, Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Sheffield and York.
The little tweaker got the call-up to the Leeds side for the opening match of the season at home to York. Batting at number nine she made 7 runs before being caught behind down the leg side off their spinner. She was surprisingly thrust into action with the ball early in the piece, bowling the second over of the innings in the power play. After an economical start she was removed from the attack and not recalled until the 18th over which again was an economical affair. Aged just 19 and on debut, she was presented with the responsibility of bowling the final over with York requiring seven for victory. Two dot balls were followed by the little one’s first ever wicket, caught on the boundary at deep fine leg. She looked destined to be the hero on debut but with the batsman having crossed, the York player cut the next ball for four leaving the away side requiring three from two. My daughter then, possibly feeling the pressure, dragged the ball a little down the leg side and again, the ball was dispatched to the boundary as York sealed victory with just one delivery remaining. Her debut summed up the fluctuating emotions that an athlete experiences, the highs and lows of team sport. Despite the loss, I’m sure that she’ll be a better cricketer for the experience. Next up it’s Hull as the tiny twirler endeavours to achieve her dreams of representing Yorkshire and England.
Just rock up on Test debut and score a century why don’t you?
That’s exactly what England’s Keaton Jennings did in Mumbai today and in the process helped England post 288-5 on day one of the fourth Test. 288-5 is a delicate sort of total that is poised somewhere between a collapse to 333 all out or a middle/lower order jolly to 419.
Jennings was born in South Africa but his mum is from Sunderland. Another opening batsman, Matthew Renshaw, made his Test debut for Australia against South Africa last month. He was born in Middlesbrough and his mum is a Geordie.
Will Sri Lanka’s new explosive opening batsman’s mum be from Stockton-on-Tees or a doughty Zimbabwe opener’s mother have been born in Peterlee?
Apologies for the headline. The letters K and J aren’t favourable when it comes to cricket related alliteration!
Welcome to Test cricket Nic Maddinson! One of three Australian debutantes Maddinson lasted twelve deliveries before falling victim to South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada in the third Test at Adelaide. For the record the home side’s other debutantes, Middlesbrough born opening batsman Matthew Renshaw and former Gloucestershire middle-order player Peter Handscomb faired little and much better, registering scores of 10 and 54 respectively. Let’s not forget that successful Test players such as Graham Gooch, Phillip Hughes and Marvan Atapattu all registered ducks on their Test bows so all is not yet lost for Maddinson though the state of the game could leave the twenty-four-year-old without a second innings opportunity.
In Hamilton New Zealand opening batsman Tom Latham fell first ball to Mohammad Amir in his side’s second Test against Pakistan. Latham made scores of 1 and 9 in the first Test so is currently averaging a mighty 3.33 in the series! New Zealand were 77-2 in their first innings when rain curtailed play.
Finally, in a crucial Tri-Series match in Zimbabwe the home team’s Sean Williams fell first ball to Ashley Nurse, caught by our man Shai Hope. As a result Williams will need nursing better! West Indies had their own goldie in the form of Johnson Charles. Charles was caught and bowled by Zimbabwe hero Tendai Chisoro. Chisoro scored 42 not out off 35 deliveries batting at number ten, putting on an unbroken stand of 91 with Sikander Raza before recording figures of 6-1-23-2 as Zimbabwe claimed a spot in the final.