Contrasting styles hold Australian opening pair in good stead

Australia opener Matthew Renshaw is focused on the upcoming second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, although all the talk around is about the impending Ashes Down Under in November later this year. Renshaw headlined Australia’s tour of India with a solid show with the bat, during which he scored two solid fifties while ending as the second highest run-getter for their side.

Renshaw came into the two-Test tour of Bangladesh with expectations riding on his shoulders to repeat, if not better his performances from the previous subcontinental tour. Although, the tourists’ batting couldn’t muster much on the board, resulting in their first ever Test loss to Bangladesh, the young opener impressed with a stodgy 94-ball stay in the first innings. Speaking to the media ahead of their first practice session for the second Test on Saturday, Renshaw lauded his opening partner, Warner’s combative second-inning ton and believed that the duo stands good ground building up to the all-important Ashes.

Mentioning the difference in height as a crucial factor, Renshaw felt that this would cause trouble to the bowlers in terms of adjusting length against them. “I’m not a bowler myself but I know that it’s probably tougher to find your length especially against someone who’s as tall as me and as short as Davey,” said Renshaw.

“You see it a lot with right-handers and left-handers, how tough it is for bowlers to adjust their line. So I think it (the Ashes) is going to be interesting but we’ve just got to try and focus on the next Test in Chittagong.”

The 21-year-old failed to replicate his first innings’ resilience during their chase of 265 in the final innings, but his opening partner bounced back with a counterattacking 135-ball 112, which included 12 boundaries and a six. Heaping praise on his partner, Renshaw spoke highly of Warner’s valued advice in the dressing room. The senior pro underlined the importance of being light on the feet while playing on rank turners with odd bounce. Having put all of it to use, Warner’s knock eventually emerged to be a live tutorial for the young batsman.

“He talked a lot about it in the changerooms – just being light on his feet. You could see the difference from his first innings to the second innings, how light on his feet and how easy it was for him to move out to the ball and then (get) back as far back as possible.

“You hear the greats talk about batting on the subcontinent and it’s about trying to get to the ball and smother it, or get right back and play it as late as you can.”

Renshaw, though, felt that while his opening partner has the advantage of lighter feet, he has his height to reach out and kill the turn. “He’s probably got the lighter-on-his-feet advantage, but I’ve got the reach advantage. I can reach quite far towards where the ball’s pitching. He might run down at one whereas I can just defend. It’s about working what’s best for us but also working at it as a team and trying to be the best team we can be,” noted Renshaw.

Renshaw remarked that the Dhaka wicket didn’t turn as much as the ones in India, and it was the irregularity of it that made life difficult in the opening Test. “It was really tough out there. It was just a lot of challenges that we’ve faced before and some that are a bit different.

“We’ve just got to try and replicate what we can in the nets. Generally the pitch in Dhaka wasn’t really turning as much as the Indian pitches. Some were turning, which made it quite difficult to work out which one was turning and which one was not.

“You’ve just got to try and play for the one that doesn’t miss you on the inside and if it spins past you, it spins past you,” observed Renshaw.

“It’s pretty disappointing to lose any Test match whether it be at home or away from home but I think the mood’s pretty good. We know what we’ve done wrong in the first Test so we’re just looking forward to righting those wrongs in the second Test and hopefully win (the second Test) and tie the series,” Renshaw said.


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