Small detail in shot of Australian team singing national anthem before Sydney Test spells BIG trouble for home side against South Africa
- Matt Renshaw was the only player physically separated from his teammates
- He was feeling unwell before the start of the game against South Africa at the SCG
- Renshaw later came out as having tested positive for Covid-19; can still play
Aussie cricket star Matt Renshaw ran into trouble before the start of the Sydney Test against South Africa on Wednesday, with the batter seen standing apart from his teammates during the national anthem at the SCG.
As the rest of the squad hugged each other’s shoulders, the 29-year-old was the only player not to interact with anyone – before it was revealed he tested positive for Covid after the action began .
‘Renshaw reported feeling unwell before playing in the third NRMA Insurance Test against South Africa in Sydney and has been separated from the squad,’ a Cricket Australia statement explained.
‘Renshaw returned a positive RAT test. He will continue to take part in the fight.’
Renshaw (far right) was the only member of the Aussie side not to interact with his teammates when they sang the national anthem at the SCG on Wednesday
It was later learned that the 26-year-old was unwell, and later tested positive for Covid
The 26-year-old – who was named in the Aussie XI after not playing a Test since 2018 – was also seen sitting apart from his team-mates over the boundary rope before the ball was bowled.
His separation from his team-mates was described as ‘very strange’ by Ricky Ponting, with commentator and former Test great Adam Gilchrist adding, ‘The word is that Renshaw is not feeling 100 per cent now … and he didn’t want to get too close. and personally to his colleagues.’
Under International Cricket Council rules, teams can replace a player who tests positive for Covid with the ‘closest similar replacement’ – but only if symptoms appear during the match.
Ashton Agar joins Renshaw in making the Sydney Test team after a long spell away from the side, meaning the Aussies will play two spinners in a home Test for the first time in two years with him alongside the off-spinner that Nathan Lyon in the attack.
Australia are up 2-0 in the three-Test series, but have the carrot of qualifying for the World Test Championship final with a win in Sydney.
Renshaw’s return to the side marks the first time he has been selected for a Test since 2018
Agar’s recall marks his first test appearance since 2017, and gives him a chance to cement his place as the side’s second spinner ahead of the tour of India next month.
Renshaw returns for his first appearance in a Test since 2018, as he comes into the team for the injured Cameron Green batting at No.6.
“It’s a luxury we have (leading India),” Cummins said of the twin spin option.
“This (SCG wicket) is probably close to India here in Australia. It’ll be good to see Ash have a go after a little while and Matt as well.”
South Africa were also forced into a change, with Heinrich Klaasen coming on after Theunis de Bruyn returned home for the birth of his first child.
Simon Harmer has also been added as a second spinner to partner Keshav Maharaj, who has not included Lungi Ngidi.