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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Queenslander Renshaw retired ill ~ Jayant no ball and Saha flying catch

The distance To Adelaide From Pune is:  9060 km and Matt Renshaw is a Queenslander !!

At Pune on day 1 of 1st Test, Australia scrambled to 256/9 (good as compared to 205/9). On a pitch so dry, it was a fast bowler who came away with the richest haul. Umesh Yadav's combination of pace and reverse swing fetched him four wickets.  A sizeable chunk of that total came off the blade of Matt Renshaw. The 20-year-old playing his first Test away from home made 68 off 156 balls – and then there was Michael Starc hitting all over the park.

Even before a ball was bowled, Australia captain Steven Smith  dropped a bombshell crying hoarse that  the Pune track, was a rank turner. “I think it will take spin from ball one. There are a couple of divots out of the wicket as well,” Smith was quoted by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’. He knows little of history.

Gone are the days, when Aussies touted that Perth was a green park and visitors would fold within 2 sessions to their pace.   Remember what was written earlier -  a pacey man with unique action that put strains on his body and probably his weak heart  quickened his quitting process.  He was touted to be capable of delivering flat blows to the opposition – a promise he never fulfilled in his short career.  Before the Perth test, when he was to be unleashed against the weak Indians,  there were talks of Indians tumbling to his speed and perhaps getting all out in a session, if  Ponting were to win the toss and put India in.  It is another thing that things never went by the script and in Test no. 1862 – Border Gavaskar Trophy 34d Test at  Western Australia Cricket Association Ground , Perth in   Jan 2008 – India won by handsome margin of 72 runs.  Shaun Tait bowled 13 overs conceding 59 runs and in the second essay bowled another 8 conceding 33 runs – more importantly went wicketless on a green top.  Immediately after the Perth test, he walked away from cricket citing physical and emotional exhaustion. 

Did you notice that Australia has played two International matches at two continents within 15 hrs 50 mins !!

Only recently they were playing at home against the visiting Sri Lankans.  Asela Gunaratne orchestrated a remarkable heist to seal the T20 series for Sri Lanka – but the Aussies team was different.  Michael Klinger made  international debut at the age of 36; . Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was also picked, nearly six years after he last represented Australia in any format, while the uncapped fast bowler Jhye Richardson and allrounder Ashton Turner too were playing.  A number of first-choice T20 players were unavailable for this squad as they had flown to India for the Test Series.   

Border strongly believed Renshaw should have held out and waited until lunch to relieve his upset stomach. Remember that it was Alan Border who was at the helm in Chennai in 1986 when he famously told Dean Jones, who was ill and unbeaten on 202, during a tea break "we'll get a Queenslander out here" if the Victorian could not continue. Jones batted on. Matt Renshaw is a Queenslander !"I hope he is lying on the table in there half dead. Otherwise as captain I would not be happy," Border said on Fox Sports.

"I don't think I've ever seen that before. He's obviously just got an upset stomach to some degree and he was probably trying to use the situation where David Warner had just been dismissed to race off the ground and go to the toilet." .. .. ..  Dean Jones who was at the receiving end in that famous 1988 Tied test -  tweeted about Border's comments.

Former captain Michael Clarke was stunned by Renshaw's abrupt departure but stopped short of criticising the 20-year-old. "Only 15 minutes until lunch, I can't believe Renshaw is retiring. He must be extremely sick and has a stomach bug and has to go to the bath room - this is unbelievable." The drama overshadowed Renshaw's valuable contribution at the top of the order.  In between Jayant Yadav bowled David Warner off a big no ball and Wriddhiman Saha took a great flying catch.

Despite the spin-friendly conditions, Australia decided against playing three slow bowlers, instead backing pace duo Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc to capitalise should conditions be conducive to reverse swing. Seam bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was recalled after being on the outer for five Tests.

So 9 down for 256 is a win for bowling side – but Indians have to bat in the 4th innings – a result for sure !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

23rd Feb 2017

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