Matt Renshaw says he had no choice but to retire early for a bathroom break on day one of Australia’s first Test against India.
But the 20-year-old opener later conceded Australian captain Steve Smith had not been pleased to see his opener batsman rushing back to the change rooms.
Playing in his first overseas Test, Renshaw also infuriated former Australian skipper Allan Border by leaving the field early, but the Queenslander said he had no choice but to leave the field. He later returned to help Australia reach a competitive 9/257.
“He wasn’t too thrilled about it,” Renshaw said of Smith.
“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, playing in his first overseas Test, was showing he had the stomach for the fight against India, having added 82 runs with David Warner for the first wicket on a turning wicket in Pune.
However, the 20-year-old did not have the stomach to stay on the field.
Upon Warner’s dismissal (playing on against Umesh Yadav in the 28th over), Renshaw was keen to dash from the field immediately.
Captain Steven Smith, walking out to bat at No.3, looked mystified to see the youngster charging towards him and raised a questioning palm.
Renshaw was suffering from a stomach bug, and after being summoned back to explain himself to the umpires, he ran off the field about 15 minutes before the lunch break, retired hurt for 36.
Clarke, part of the Star Sports commentary team, was incredulous: “What is going on here? He’s retiring ill.”
One ball – Two wickets? Renshaw leaves the field retired ill immediately after Warner's dismissal #INDvAUS
“There’s only 15 minutes to lunch. I can’t believe Renshaw’s retiring. He must be extremely sick with a stomach bug and has to go to the bathroom.
“Steve Smith didn’t know what was going on. He walked onto the field after the dismissal of David Warner and his partner walked straight past him.”
During the lunch break, Border, offering special comments during the Fox Sports broadcast, said he could not recall a time ”where someone’s just gone off because they’re a bit ill”.
“I tell you what, if Shaun Marsh had been dismissed in those last 15 minutes, I would have been ropeable as captain.”
“I hope he’s lying on the table in there half dead, because otherwise as a captain I would not be happy,” Border added.
Today's Warner / Renshaw double play has happened twice before – Dubai 2014 (Sarfraz & Zulfiqur) and Hamilton 1996 (Patel & Loveridge)
— Benedict Bermange (@Benedict_B) February 23, 2017
The rules allow a “retired hurt” batsman to come back to the crease at any time, but Renshaw did not reappear when the next wicket fell 20 overs later: Marsh for 16 shortly after the lunch interval.
Instead, he re-emerged when Peter Handscomb fell, with Australia 3/149. When Smith departed on the same score for 27 the pressure to anchor the innings moved onto Renshaw, playing in just his fifth Test.
He responded, taking his score to 68 from 156 deliveries before he was caught at slip, lunging at a Ravi Ashwin ball that spun off a length – becoming the youngest Australian to post a Test half-century in India.
Australia’s decision to recall the Marsh brothers went unrewarded, with Mitch Marsh caught lbw for 4, and a disappointing total looked certain when the tourists slumped to 9/205.
FIFTY! What a knock this has been from Starc. A half-century off just 47 balls. Partnership is worth 45, Hazlewood yet to score! #INDvAUS
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) February 23, 2017
But some lusty hitting from Mitch Starc (57 not out) ensured that Australia reached a competitive 9/257 on a cracked and crumbling wicket that spinning great Shane Warne had likened to ”a day eight pitch” before play.
“It’s like the surface of Mars,” Warne said of the pitch during the second session.
“It’s only going to get worse … anything above 250 looks like a pretty good score with the way the ball is turning.”
At the close of play, Renshaw admitted he had wanted to get back on the field to make up for his unexpected early retirement.
“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.”