Renshaw fights pitch and illness to star for Australia

Even as former Australia skipper Allan Border him for leaving the field, slams the young opener defends his stance, saying, “when you have to go to the toilet, you have to go to the toilet.”

Umpire Nigel Llong (left) looks on as Matt Renshaw runs back to the pavilion in Pune on Thursday.   -  Picture: AFP

 

Matt Renshaw wasn’t assured of a place in the starting XI, and coach Darren Lehman said it would be a close call between him and Usman Khawaja on the day of the Test.

But Renshaw repaid the faith put in him by the coach with a fighting knock of 68. Not only did he have to tackle the turning pitch, but also a stomach bug which led to him leaving the field.

In fact, he came in for criticism from the former Australian captain Allan Border, who had famously refused Dean Jones to go off the field in Chennai in 1986 due to dehydration. Border said, “I hope he (Renshaw) is lying there half dead,” during the coverage of the game.

But the youngster offered a simple explanation. “Well, when you have to go to the toilet, you have to go to the toilet. I felt bad about letting the team down, but you can’t do much about it. It wasn’t an ideal situation to be in and I wasn’t too sure. I had to ask the umpire about what the ruling was with regard to it (having to retire ill) and then made my decision.” Renshaw said.

Australians amused by Renshaw's 'break

The opener added that the preparations in Dubai ahead of the series, proved to be important. “I went out to play with an open mind and had simple plans for each bowler. I didn’t want to complicate things too much. Ashwin and Jadeja are number 1 and 2 bowlers in the world, so it was a great challenge facing them and something I was looking forward too.”

Kohli gave the ball to Ashwin as early as the second over, but that didn’t bother Renshaw. “It’s something I have seen for the first time, but that didn’t change my strategy at all. I wanted to play for as long as possible.”

The Aussie opener also praised Mitchell Starc, who is unbeaten on 57. “We were all waiting in our whites, but Starc played a great innings which will help us massively.”