How Matt Renshaw laughed off Virat Kohli’s mind games
Matt Renshaw, the 20-year-old Australian opener, has displayed immense grit and the kind of patience in the Pune and Bangalore Tests that would make fellow Yorkshireman Geoffrey Boycott proud.cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2017 23:10 IST
Matt Renshaw has scored two vital half-centuries to help keep the visitors ahead in the tense Test series against India. However, he has also been on the receiving end of some ‘toilet humour’. (DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)
The 20-year-old hit the ground running, literally, in the first Test in Pune. He scored 68 and 31, and then a patient 60 on the second day of the second Test gave Australia a handy 48-run lead. (SCORECARD)
But banter is never far away when Australia and India are involved in a game of cricket, and Renshaw has gone from hero to zero to hero.
On Sunday, the Yorkshire-born Renshaw saw his skipper Steven Smith and Virat Kohli engage in a heated chat in a tense morning session where the hosts dried up the runs. Renshaw, however, held firm to help Australia see off that tough phase.
Asked what Kohli told him, Renshaw said he was reminded of the Pune toilet break.
The left-hander was criticised for racing mid-innings to the toilet due to a stomach bug on the first morning of the Pune Test. But he came back to score a vital half-century.
“He was really at it, it is something I am not used to,” Renshaw told reporters. “But it’s something I try and embrace, different conditions and different challenges that we get. I was trying to enjoy it, try and laugh at what he was saying because some of that was quite funny. He was just saying that I might need to run off and go to the toilet, which happened in Pune, so it was quite funny.”
Renshaw has shown oodles of patience to go with his amazing concentration and technique on spin-friendly pitches.
A beneficiary of Australia’s major team reshuffle following the home series defeat against South Africa late last year, he hit 184 in the Sydney Test against Pakistan to announce that he belongs to the highest level. The India tour has only enhanced his reputation.
So far in the series, Renshaw has batted for seven hours and six minutes.
Asked to explain the secret behind his patience, he said, “When I was younger, instead of retiring when we had faced certain balls, they would retire us when we had scored certain amount of runs.
“Once we got to 50 we had to retire and let someone else come in. I didn’t really want to retire, and so I (used to) try to get to 50 as slow as possible.”