Matt Renshaw burst onto the AUSSIE cricket scene over summer almost from oblivion, but turns out he's been a test prodigy since the moment he was born thanks to his dad's work
While many parents work tirelessly to get their kids better sport, Matt had an advantage, his dad Ian is a specialist in sports psychology and physiology, even holding a PhD in actions of cricket.
So what does that mean exactly?
“Theories of psychology or sports psychology really, and using cricket as the task vehicle,” Ian said
“I tried to design some studies to look at how people picked spin bowlers.”
In many ways Matt has been a test case for Ian’s work, and played a big part of his upbringing.
“It’s always underpinned the way that I’ve worked with him… (Matt) says ‘I think dad was throwing balls at me from when I popped’, so it’s hard to know when we started but we were always throwing balls at him… right from the moment he could walk,” he said.
While some kids were unwrapping gifts from Santa on December 25th – Matt's present was a bit different…
“Bill Root (Joe Root’s brother) came over and played for Toombul with us, and we said the best Christmas Day ever is going to be to simulate the Mike Hussey can you bat for a day game… so we went down to Brendale, took the bowling machine, took ourselves and some lunch and just batted the whole day,” he said.
“Just trying to simulate what you need to do in a game I guess.
“He didn’t bat a whole day until against New South Wales last year in Mackay – he’d always got out 20 minutes before five or the end of the day, even if he got a big score I’d say ‘you still haven’t batted a day mate.’”
Some have critisiced Matt’s slower playing style, but it’s one of the reasons for his selection in the test side and something Ian has always worked with Matt on.
“Matt’s always wanted to play test cricket, that was the goal, it was never to play Big Bash.
“I remember he made a Queensland primary school’s team when he was about 10 or 11, I said ‘what do you want?’ and he said ‘I want to play test cricket’, I said ‘we’re going to have to do a lot of work but if you want to do it we’ll do it,’” he said.
Training six days a week, sometimes twice a day from the age of 12 paid off in a big way at the SCG this summer – Matt hit 184, his maiden test ton.
“I’m glad the camera couldn’t find us, when he got a hundred there, we were in the Noble Stand, it was pretty emotional I must say, just thinking of everything that’s gone to the fact that he’s manage to get a hundred in test cricket, which is your first goal anyway,” he said.
Listen to the full chat here: