Australia's batsman Matt Renshaw celebrates scoring his century against Pakistan during the first day of the third cricket Test match at the SCG, in Sydney on January 3, 2017. / AFP / WILLIAM WEST / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

David Warner's spot for the 2023 World Test Championship final against India and Ashes against England could be in doubt after both Matt Renshaw and Tim Ward made big scores during the first four-day match against New Zealand A in Lincoln.

Cricket Australia sent the A team to tour with a number of Ashes hopefuls, and instructions for the New Zealand Cricket Board to prepare green seaming pitches.

The conditions in New Zealand often replicate those which are used in England, and with the two matches against the Kiwis also using the Dukes ball, they are Ashes trials for a number of players.

Two of those undoubtedly are Renshaw and Ward, who both made big scores during Australia's first innings, which was declared at 6 for 370 during the second day's play after a rain-hit Day 1.

Sheffield Shield - VIC v TAS: Day 3

Renshaw opened the batting, scoring 112 before being trapped LBW by Scott Kuggeleijn, while New South Wales-born Tasmanian representative Ward batted at first drop and made 75.

The Queenslander, who made his return to the Test side in the middle order against South Africa in the final Test of the home summer at the Sydney Cricket Ground, has scored bulk runs in both the Sheffield Shield and County Championship in recent times as he battled to add more Tests to his name.

Renshaw, who has averaged under 30 in Test cricket over the early part of his career, has re-invented his game as a middle-order option, but a century opening the batting against the Dukes ball will provide the selectors food for thought.

Ward has opened the batting for Tasmania throughout the Sheffield Shield season and, alongside South Australian Henry Hunt, has been earmarked as the future at the top of the order for Australia.

He represented the CA XI earlier in the summer against the South African touring side, and while he had a slow finish to the Sheffield Shield season, a weight of runs over the last two years in Australia's domestic competition has him in line for a call up to the national team sooner than expected.

He made a classy 75 from first drop against the Kiwi attack, and while he battled through the second half of the Sheffield Shield season, he was among the leading run-scorers at the Christmas break, and was the competition's fifth-highest run-scorer in the 2021-22 season.

The 25-year-old still has a ways to go technically, but is certainly on the radar for the Ashes, and given David Warner's struggles in recent times, as well as his historic ones in England, there could be a very real argument for change at the top of the Aussie batting order.

Warner, who made 200 against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to save his Test career, made scores of 1, 10 and 15 during his three innings against India in Test cricket before fracturing his elbow.

He then played a single ODI and made 23, and will now be relying on white ball cricket in the IPL to find form ahead of the Ashes and World Test Championship final, which will see Australia play six Tests in the United Kingdom this year.

The veteran opener has been a stalwart of the Australian team, but his appalling average in England combined with bad form could leave the selectors with no option but to make a move on his status as an automatic selection.

The mere fact Australia have two openers closer to retirement than not could also play a part, with Usman Khawaja one of the nation's key batsmen for the time being, but also on the wrong side of the age fence.

The first clash against New Zealand A for the Australian touring party also features Nathan McSweeney, who made a half-century, all-rounder Aaron Hardie, wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson and Mitchell Swepson, who struggled with the ball to stumps on Day 2, while Spencer Johnson and Wes Agar found success with the new ball.

Day 3 continues on Monday.