Matt Renshaw walked back or jogged back after a brief chat with the umpires, as well as the Australian skipper Steve Smith, which created enormous confusion over his intent and the chat as well, during the opening day of the first Test against India on Thursday.
During the first day of play, reports said that Renshaw had to urgently go the toilet in Pune about which he later, after the day’s play, confirmed that that was indeed the reason.
Renshaw told cricket.com.au, “Maybe five or 10 minutes before Davey (Warner) got out I asked Richard (Kettleborough, standing umpire) how long there was till lunch and he gave me the answer of ‘half an hour’ and I was struggling a bit then. It wasn’t an ideal situation to be in."
When Warner walked back, Renshaw also walked back to have a brief chat with skipper Steve Smith which created some confusion among crowd, broadcasters and even Smith.
First Renshaw told Kettleborough that he could retire and return later, then he explained to Smith immediately and the situation he was facing that required instant attention, which would mean a double dent to the visitors with two new batsmen required to bat.
Renshaw stated, "He (Smith) wasn’t too thrilled about it but he understands that when you need to go to the toilet, you’ve got to go to the toilet. It wasn’t an ideal scenario but it’s life, pretty much. Obviously, we just lost a wicket so there would be two new batsmen out there but it’s a hard scenario to be in and he understood. We’ve had a chat now and we’re all good.”
So, on 36 with 15 minutes left to play in the morning session, Renshaw jogged back to the dressing room. After the loss of Peter Handscomb, he returned two and a half hours later and went on to score 68 on his debut Test against India.
India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar had sympathy for Renshaw, “When you have to answer the nature’s call, no amount of will power and mind power can control that. He had to go, he held back, he was having that conversation with Steven Smith whether he would do it or not. Such instances definitely happen."
He further added, "It all adds to the color of Test cricket. Credit to him, he came back, he started really well and applied himself and showed a lot of character. For a younger player, he showed a lot of character playing in his first Test in India."