Matt Renshaw’s ill-timed bathroom break infuriated former Australia captain Allan Border and temporarily Steve Smith, but the opener made it up to his skipper yesterday.
Renshaw followed up his maiden Test century at the SCG with a knock of far greater significance in Pune, top-scoring with 68 as Australia reached 9-256 at stumps on day one of the first Test against India.
The tourists will resume with the game, played on a spin-friendly surface that Shane Warne likened to “the surface of Mars”, in the balance.
Mitchell Starc is 57 not out, having teed off with great success after Australia slipped to 9-205.
Renshaw adopted a far more measured approach, soaking up 156 balls as he knuckled down against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Renshaw’s innings was interrupted when he retired hurt some 15 minutes before lunch because of a stomach bug. David Warner had just been dismissed, with Smith stunned to see the 20-year-old rushing past him on an evident toilet dash.
“He wasn’t too thrilled about it,” Renshaw said.
“He didn’t really understand what was going on at the start, I sort of just ran past him .. he called me back and he wanted to have a discussion with me but I just told him I had to go off.
“But we’ve had a chat now, we’re all good.
“He understands that when you need to go to the toilet, you need to go to the toilet.”
Renshaw felt sick for a couple of hours but strapped on the pads and walked out to bat following the dismissal of Smith, adding 32 runs to his score.
“I felt quite bad, knowing that I could be letting the team down. That’s why I went back out there,” he said.
“That was the most challenging bit, waiting to bat … because as an opener you just go straight out there and bat.”
Border was highly critical of Renshaw, saying he hopes the opener is “lying on the table in there half dead”.
“Otherwise as captain, I would not be happy,” Border said on Fox Sports.
Renshaw shouldered arms in response.
“That’s just something I guess he grew up with, and that was his sort of mentality,” Renshaw said.
Mitchell Starc will resume on 57 today, having swung momentum in a topsy-turvy start to the four-Test series.
Starc and Josh Hazlewood’s unbeaten final-wicket stand is already worth 51 runs, with the latter scoring just one of them.
“We were all sitting sort of in our whites ready to go … it was a really entertaining innings and it helped us massively,” Renshaw said of Starc’s innings.
“We had a great day.”
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