Australia’s slow start to their tour of India has been compounded by news that key batsman Matthew Renshaw has injured his knee and is doubtful for the rest of the first Test in Nagpur. Renshaw suffered a knee injury during the warm-up before the second day’s play and was subsequently sent for scans in the injury area.
The left-handed batsman was a notable absentee as play began on Friday, with back-up spinner Ashton Agar taking the field in his place. Renshaw was dismissed for a golden duck on the opening day of the competition as Australia were bowled out for just 177 and a brilliant innings from India skipper Rohit Sharma put the hosts in the box seat on the second day of play.
The selectors’ decision to retain Renshaw in Australia’s XI and include right-armer Peter Handscomb ahead of an in-form Travis Head raised a few eyebrows, but Australia legend Ricky Ponting was not surprised by the choices made.
Ponting said on The ICC Review : “The fact that they played Matt Renshaw in Sydney (in the last Test), to me meant that they had probably had other plans in mind for him,”
“If they’re going to keep him in, they couldn’t really afford to keep Travis Head in either, because they would’ve had five left-handers in their top seven, which probably would’ve played into Ravi Ashwin’s hands. Ashwin loves, as we know, bowling to left-handers.”
Despite Renshaw’s failure with the bat, Ponting believes the left-handed batsman should get another chance to perform once he proves his fitness ahead of the second Test in Delhi.
Ponting said:- “I know the reason that the Australian selectors have picked Matt Renshaw is they believe he’s a very good player of spin bowling,”