Matt Renshaw is copping it around the cricket world after a photo emerged of him laughing in the dugout during Australia's humiliating loss to India in the first Test. The Aussies were bowled out for just 91 in the second innings as they crumbled to an embarrassing defeat by an innings and 132 runs.
Renshaw, who was controversially included in the Aussie side at the expense of Travis Head, didn't exactly cash in on his chance. The Queenslander made a first-ball duck in the first innings and 2 off 7 balls in the second.
Amidst the carnage of Australia's capitulation, Renshaw was spotted sharing a big laugh on the boundary with squad members Ashton Agar, Cameron Green, Lance Morris and Mitchell Swepson. The controversial moment reportedly occurred after Australia lost their seventh wicket in the second innings, with many taking issue with the attitude of the Aussie players.
Reporter Adam Hawse tweeted a screenshot of Renshaw laughing, writing: “Wouldn’t have thought there’s too much to chuckle about. This is a hammering." AFL player-turned commentator Kane Cornes commented "unbelievable isn’t it", while others labelled Renshaw's actions 'embarrassing' and an 'awful look'.
that reaction was after someone told Renshaw he'd done enough to play next test
— Bernie Coen (@berniecoen) February 11, 2023
Unbelievable isn’t it
— Kane Cornes (@kanecornes) February 12, 2023
It’s been happening all match. Not a good look given this horrendous performance
— Seb Trovato (@SJTToffeeChook) February 11, 2023
yeah that doesn't sit well with me and I doubt it would sit well with most cricket fans in Australia
— christopher crocker (@thecrock1) February 11, 2023
Absolute hammering and embarrassment. These blokes carrying on like it’s just a trip away with the boys. Way to much friendly gibber with the Indian fielders and bowlers…..
— MT (@blueman99) February 11, 2023
Yep it’s an awful look. CA needs to find a way to drop Renshaw. He’s is terribly out of nick and not suited to the conditions at all.🏏
— Tony Ritchie (@mining47) February 12, 2023
The attitude of Australia's players came into question a number of times throughout the first Test, with former captain Allan Border questioning Steve Smith for congratulating the India bowlers when they bowled good balls. Smith could be seen giving a thumbs up a number of times when beaten by a delivery.
“Play with a harder edge. I mean, we’re giving blokes the thumbs up when they’re beating us outside the off stump,” Border said on Saturday. “What the hell is going on? That is just ridiculous.
“Don’t go stupid, but Australia play hard nose cricket. We’re even giving someone thumbs up ... bloody hell.”
— Circle of Cricket (@circleofcricket) February 11, 2023
Andrew McDonald urges Aussies to stick to the plan
Despite the humiliating loss in Nagpur, Aussie coach Andrew McDonald doesn't think the Aussies need to change too much. Renshaw's place in the XI appears to be in doubt for the second Test, with all-rounder Cameron Green pushing to reclaim his spot at No.6.
Aussie selectors are also reportedly considering bringing Head back in at the top of the order and dropping David Warner, whose average in his career in India is just over 22. Queensland spinner Matthew Kuhnemann is also a big chance to play as a third spinner after being brought into the squad due to Mitchell Swepson flying home to be at the birth of his third child.
"If you feel as though your preparation was good and the way you want to go about it is good then you recommit to that," McDonald said on Sunday.
"If you shift and try to change too much that's when you get lost as a touring team. We've seen teams come to Australia and try to do the same.
"We feel as though when we came here we had a clear vision of how to play, how we want to go about it and we need to reinvest into that. We feel as though it can work and the players within the change room are very capable for the challenges ahead.
"We had a slight setback in the first Test match, we got behind in the game. Are we able to shift the pressure back into the Indian dressing room? That's the key."
McDonald said the Aussies are expecting more pitches that suit Ravi Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin for the remainder of the series. "The first Test of any series sets the scene for potential surfaces you're going to encounter," he said.
"We expect no less, albeit the soil up there is slightly different. It will be a different challenge but we expect the extreme spin challenge will be there throughout the series."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.