Renshaw's Aussie chance a priority for new Bulls coach

Johan Botha will nut out a plan for Matt Renshaw in the pre-season to ensure the opener is ready to seize his next Test chance

Johan Botha doesn't want Matthew Renshaw to miss another Test chance, declaring the left-hander is one of his pre-season priorities as the new Queensland Bulls coach.

The former South African spinner signed a three-year deal on Tuesday, replacing Wade Seccombe as Bulls and Brisbane Heat coach. 

Highlighting the challenges of the wide-ranging role, the Bulls finished last for just the second time in 30 years in the Marsh Sheffield Shield last season while the Heat won the KFC BBL|13 title.

A host of fresh faces have been handed contracts as a result with Botha hoping to fast-track their progress in his first coaching experience outside of T20 cricket.

Turning players into long-term national representatives is his other goal and Renshaw is top of the list as one of several fighting to replace the retired David Warner at the top of the Test order.

Renshaw debuted against South Africa in 2016 as a raw prospect and showed plenty with a patient 184 in just his fourth Test.

He was dropped a year later despite a consistent tour of India, then parachuted in for one Test after the ball-tampering bans to Warner and Cameron Bancroft in 2018.

Renshaw played three Tests last year, unable to mount a case in limited opportunities in the middle order that left him with an average just below 30 from 14 Tests.

The race is on to open for Australia in the post-David Warner era when India visit later this year, with Renshaw clearly in the frame having toured with the Test squad in New Zealand this year, and Botha wants his man to be ready.

Determined Renshaw scores second straight PM’s XI century

"We've got to get him in the best form and shape as possible and when that opportunity comes up and does fall to him that he's ready to take it and not let it go again," he said.

"If he gets his foot in the door it's an opportunity for the next four, five, six years.

"Set up a (pre-season) plan so that if it does fall his way, we've got to be ready for him to take it, not sort of be 50-50 and 'what-if or could have or should have'."

Renshaw has scored 281 runs in eight innings for Somerset so far this county season // Getty

Botha has turned to long-distance running in his playing retirement and says he will run with the squad and challenge them to improve their own fitness standards.

But the Australian citizen, who captained South Australia's Sheffield Shield team, said he had no plans to rock the boat on his arrival.

"I don't just want to jump in and immediately change things, like it's got to be my way or the highway," he said.

"That's what the preseason is for, get a feel for that, meet with players and form relationships.

"We've got two assistant coaches who have been part of the group before, so I think I'll lean heavily on them to start with."

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Second Test: December 6-10: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (D/N)

Third Test: December 14-18: The Gabba, Brisbane (D)

Fourth Test: December 26-30: MCG, Melbourne (D)

Fifth Test: January 3-7: SCG, Sydney (D)

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