Renshaw to open with Warner in tour game

February 17, 2017

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 05: Umpire Sundaram Ravi watches on as Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith of Australia call for a new helmet after Renshaw was hit on the helmet while fielding during day three of the Third Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 5, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Matt Renshaw is firming in his bid to open alongside David Warner during Australia's four-Test series against India.

Renshaw is set to open the batting in Australia's three-day tour game against India A, which starts in Mumbai on Friday.

The 20-year-old has also been batting in the nets with Warner at training, with the expectation being he will do the same when the first Test starts in Pune on Thursday.

There had been speculation, fuelled partly by comments from coach Darren Lehmann last month, that Renshaw could be dropped in favour of subcontinent specialist Shaun Marsh.

Marsh, who is likely to bat in the top order during the first-class match at Brabourne Stadium, is still in the mix to play the series opener.

The 33-year-old could claim Usman Khawaja's place in the top order, or snaffle the vacant No.6 spot.

The XI selected by Trevor Hohns and Lehmann in Mumbai is not the likely side for the first Test; Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were both rested.

However, Khawaja is notably the only specialist batsman in Australia's 16-man touring party to sit out their only tune-up before the first Test.

Marsh was one of few players to enhance their subcontinent reputations during a 3-0 series loss in Sri Lanka last year, scoring 130 in Colombo. Khawaja was dropped during that same tour.

Glenn Maxwell and Mitch Marsh will both play the tour game against India A, giving the allrounders an ideal chance to build an impressive case for a Test recall.

Maxwell and Marsh are both gunning for the No.6 spot, with the omission of Hilton Cartwright the only confirmed change to the Test side at this stage.

As expected, frontline spinners Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe will given a chance to bowl long spells in Mumbai.

Australia's XI for tour game against India A: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steve Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, Steve O'Keefe, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon.

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