Usman Khawaja jarred his knee while fielding on Sunday, forcing the young Matthew Kuhnemann to step in as night-watchman and accompany Travis Head in opening Australia’s second innings.
After a forgettable outing with the ball - one for 94 - Kuhnemann survived six tricky overs with the willow and was dropped by K.S. Bharat off R. Ashwin before Australia ended the fourth day’s play at three for no loss.
“A left-handed Queenslander like Uzzy,” is how his teammate Alex Carey described him in jest.
The stumper-batter Carey also revealed that Kuhnemann stepped up when the team needed someone to fill in for Khawaja as a night-watchman.
“He put his hand up straight away and did a fantastic job. Probably, it wasn’t his day with the ball. But yeah, all the guys would definitely get around him tonight for putting his hand up,” Carey said.
“It’s a tough task going out and facing that new ball against Indian spinners. So, he did a fantastic job with Travis, but obviously, the night-watchman came into play 20 minutes ago, so we sent them out…”
Carey, who braved challenging conditions and stood behind the stumps, praised Virat Kohli for his incredible ton. “No surprise he got it in a decent batting track and went big and showed how to do it really,” Carey said.
“He’s a class player and he didn’t really give us a chance. We knew it was going to be tough bowling to Virat. We were able to contain him as much as we could and try to take wickets around him. Anytime you come to India and Virat’s next in or batting, you know it’s going to be noisy and he played really well today. But I thought we hung in really well…”
Meanwhile, pacer Scott Boland has gone back home.