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Smiling assassin Renshaw shrugs off toilet humour

Cricket

As Virat Kohli resorted to toilet humour during the second Test in Bangalore, Matt Renshaw opted for his standard response to sledging.

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Australia will resume at 6-237 on day three of the absorbing contest, having built a 48-run lead thanks to half-centuries from Renshaw and Shaun Marsh.

Australia captain Steve Smith, who scored eight from 52 balls on a tense second day, swapped barbs with India counterpart Kohli throughout his innings.

Renshaw adopted a different tact when he was targeted with verbals throughout a four-hour stay at the crease.

“I just try to smile, because in my past experience smiling seems to unnerve the bowlers a bit more than talking back,” the 20-year-old said.

“They seemed to get quite frustrated. I trying to just enjoy it out there and have fun.

“I don’t try and say too much out there.”

The fresh-faced opener, who scored 60 to help Australia reach 6-237 and claim a 48-run lead at stumps last night, revealed some of Kohli’s more light-hearted chat.

“I was just trying to enjoy it and laugh at what he was saying, because some of it was quite funny,” Renshaw said.

“He was just reminding me to run off and go to the toilet again, which happened in Pune, so it was quite funny.

“It was really loud out there… it’s something I’m probably not used to, but it’s about embracing different conditions and challenges.

“We all took it pretty well and we know that they’re trying to get under our skin because we’ve got a one-nil lead in the series.”

Renshaw, who is Australia’s leading run-scorer in the series and has faced more balls than any batsman from either side, exhibited remarkable composure for someone who had never set foot in India prior to arriving three weeks ago.

I just try to smile, because in my past experience smiling seems to unnerve the bowlers

Playing just his sixth Test, Renshaw riled the opposition for some 196 balls.

Kohli was cantankerous when he put down a sharp slips catch. It came when Renshaw was on 29 and was the only chance he offered.

Ravichandran Ashwin raged when Renshaw stood his ground at the non-striker’s end, blocking the offspinner’s attempt to field the ball and allowing Smith to score a single.

Ishant Sharma was none too impressed with Renshaw’s impersonation of the veteran paceman’s eye-popping astonishment.

“It was just a grind, but we needed to bat the whole day and managed to do that,” Renshaw said.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who did his best to rile Renshaw from short leg, noted “when we play the Australian team there is always some sledging involved”.

“It was all in the spirit of the game and there was nothing personal,” Pujara said.

India continued to make a hash of the DRS in the second Test, despite coach Anil Kumble’s pre-match assertion that it was not a problem his side needed to work on.

Kohli’s hopes of lifting the Border-Gavaskar trophy will end if Australia manage to win in Bangalore and take a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series.

Kohli will lament fielding errors and batting collapses if such a result unfolds, but the skipper’s ineffectual use of DRS should also be on his mind.

By the time the second new ball was two overs old, India had already wasted their allotted two reviews.

India's captain Virat Kohli, right, gestures to ask for a television review for the wicket of Australia's Matthew Wade, center, during the second day of their second test cricket match in Bangalore, India, Sunday, March 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Virat Kohli gestures for another unsuccessful review. Photo: Aijaz Rahi / AP

Ashwin convinced Kohli to refer two not-out decisions, but the world’s top-ranked Test bowler was left thoroughly embarrassed on both occasions.

A vociferous lbw shout was shot down when footage confirmed Shaun Marsh edged the ball onto his pads. Ashwin was convinced Matthew Wade gloved a ball before it ballooned off his chest, but replays showed a clear gap between ball and glove.

Marsh, who scored 66, would have been dismissed for 14 had Kohli opted to review an earlier caught-behind shout.

Kohli has lodged over 40 reviews since the start of the England series, when India’s stern resistance to adopt DRS ended. Some 34 have been struck down.

“We have been working on it, at times there were close calls and we didn’t get it right,” Pujara said.

“There was one instance where Shaun Marsh was out and we didn’t take the review, we were not sure and we got it wrong.

“We are working on it and can get better at DRS.”

Injured opener Murali Vijay shared similar words last week, but Kumble was fiercely defensive when asked about India’s DRS problems in Pune.

“I don’t think we messed it up,” Kumble quipped prior to the start of the second Test.

“You can always have hindsight… but those calls were really close, so I don’t see a reason why we need to worry too much about that.”

By contrast, Marsh was given out on 44 but successfully reviewed his lbw dismissal, while Smith used a referral to help Nathan Lyon bag the sixth of his eight wickets on day one in Bangalore.

-AAP

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