How '˜role model' Joe Root has helped inspire childhood friend Renshaw

Australia Test opener Matt Renshaw says childhood friend Joe Root is one of a number of players he looks up to as he attempts to cement his place on the international scene.

Australia's bowler Pat Cummins, second right, with teammates Matt Renshaw, left, and captain Tim Paine, right, inspect the ball during the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg. Picture: AP/Themba Hadebe

Queensland left-hander Renshaw, 22, played cricket with Joe and Billy Root on the boundary edge at Abbeydale Park as their fathers played together for Sheffield Collegiate.

But when Middlesbrough-born Matthew was just six the Renshaws emigrated to New Zealand and then Australia.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Now he is back in England and playing cricket on the competitive side of the boundary rope as Somerset’s overseas player in the County Championship.

He scored 112 on day two of their win over Yorkshire at Taunton on Saturday, achieving the rare feat of getting off the mark with a six, reaching 50 with a six and doing likewise to get to his century.

“My dad played with his dad for Sheffield Collegiate, and so we would go down and watch at Abbeydale,” said Renshaw.

“A lot of the kids would play cricket around the boundary and on the outfield afterwards, and Joe and Bill were there all the time.

“If I’m honest, I can’t remember a great deal about it. But what I’ve been told is that I cried a lot when I got out. I still don’t like getting out, to be fair.”

ROLE MODEL: Yorkshire and England's Joe Root. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA

Renshaw has played 11 Tests for Australia, scoring one hundred and three fifties.

He debuted in November 2016 before a lull in form meant he missed the recent Ashes series. Last month, however, he regained his place for Australia’s final Test in South Africa following the ball tampering scandal that saw openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft banned.

He added: “Joe is a role model for me in the way that he came on to the scene at a young age, and Test cricket is something we all aspire to.

“He had a really good start to his career, which was something I didn’t have. I had a couple of good games and then slowed down.

“Hopefully, I don’t get dropped again the next time we’re due to meet.”

Renshaw and Root missed each other competitively by a week, with the latter available alongside Jonny Bairstow for Yorkshire’s next two Championship matches at Essex and Surrey.

“It’s a shame Joe wasn’t available as it would have been good to see him,” added Renshaw.

Yorkshire head into the clash with the champions with the possibility of having seamer Steve Patterson available for the first time this season following a broken finger. He will have a fitness test today.