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Australia's Renshaw shows stomach for fight on India debut

Cricket - India v Australia - First Test cricket match - Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India - 23/02/17. Australia's Matt Renshaw plays a shot. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Cricket - India v Australia - First Test cricket match - Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India - 23/02/17. Australia's Matt Renshaw plays a shot. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

By Sudipto Ganguly

PUNE, India (Reuters) - Australian opener Matt Renshaw enjoyed an eventful maiden innings in India on Thursday after being forced from the field with an upset stomach only to return to complete a half-century that propped up his team on the first day of the four-test series.

The left-handed batsman, who will turn 21 next month, appeared at ease in negotiating the world's top two bowlers -- India's spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

But after suffering stomach cramps, he spoke to the umpires before following his opening partner David Warner, who had just been bowled for 38, back to the Australian dressing room, leaving the tourists to resume with two new batsmen.

Renshaw, unbeaten on 36, later returned before being dismissed by Ashwin for 68 -- his second half-century -- in his fifth test.

"It came pretty suddenly, probably about five or 10 minutes before Davey (Warner) got out," Renshaw told reporters.

"I was struggling a bit then. It wasn't an ideal situation to be in."

Australia captain Steve Smith appeared confused when the unbeaten Renshaw started walking off the field as he walked out to bat after Warner's dismissal.

"He didn't really understand what was going on at the start, I sort of just ran past him, he didn't really comprehend what was going on," said Renshaw, who received some flak from former Australian cricketers for his decision to retire ill.

"I told him I needed the toilet. Obviously, we'd just lost a wicket so there would be two new batsmen out there but as I said, it's a hard scenario to be in and he understood. We've had a chat now and we're all good."

Renshaw, who made his test debut last November against South Africa, hit 10 fours and a six before falling to the world's top-ranked bowler, Ashwin, edging a turning delivery from the off-spinner to slip.

Australia reached 256 for nine, with Mitchell Starc unbeaten on 57, after Smith won the toss and opted to bat against the current world number-one side, who are unbeaten in their last 19 tests -- a score Renshaw felt satisfied with.

"I felt quite bad knowing that I could be letting the team down, so that's why I went back out there," he added. "I wanted to do my bit for the team and wanted to make sure we had a pretty good day."

(Editing by Neville Dalton)

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