Australian vice-captain David Warner admits opening partner Matt Renshaw is under pressure ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
But Warner had some advice for his out-of-sorts teammate ahead of his last chance to impress before the Ashes squad was named on Friday – score some runs and don’t read the newspapers.
Renshaw will get a final crack at silencing the critics in Queensland’s Sheffield Shield clash with Warner’s NSW starting in Brisbane on Monday after a shaky season start.
The 21-year-old has amassed just 53 runs at 13.25 in four Shield knocks to date.
Another failure against a depleted Blues attack this week will only further fuel speculation Western Australia’s Shaun Marsh or Cameron Bancroft could displace the 10-Test opener when the Ashes opener starts at the Gabba on November 23.
NSW have rested Test trio Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins for the Shield game at Allan Border Field.
Warner said he wanted to see Renshaw score runs this week – even if it was at the expense of his new-look Blues attack.
“I want him to score runs this week. He’s been under a bit of pressure, there’s been a bit of talk in the media,” he said.
“But that’s what this game is about, you’ve got to keep putting the numbers on the board.
“As a youngster (like Renshaw) I would be steering clear of reading any newspapers.”
The stage is set for Renshaw to find some form against a second-string Blues attack of Trent Copeland, Doug Bollinger and Sean Abbott on what is expected to be a batting-friendly Allan Border Field deck.
Warner said he not only wanted runs, he also wanted to see intent from Renshaw who has a Test average of 36.64.
“He’s got to keep playing the way he plays,” he said.
“(But) we always talk about intent. Intent can be the way you leave the ball or your mannerisms at the crease as well.
“Those things bring a spark to my eye when I am at the other end because you know when your partner is on.”
Warner wouldn’t bite on another contentious issue, who should bat at No.6, but reckoned NSW teammate Peter Nevill would revel in a return as Australia’s wicketkeeper.
Nevill is reportedly poised to usurp Matthew Wade and reclaim the gloves a year after his sacking.
“From where I stand I think he has done a good job,” Warner said.
“I have played the last couple of games with him and he has been outstanding the way he has been around the guys.
“He has a fantastic work ethic. I am sure if the selectors go that way he will give 100 per cent like he does for every team he plays for.”