Virat Kohli will need to work on his sledging if he is to unsettle Australia opener Matthew Renshaw after the India skipper’s taunts left the youngster in stitches.
Renshaw had a front row view of the verbal spat between rival captains Kohli and Steve Smith on day two of the second Test in Bengaluru, but when the attention turned the Queenslander’s way he couldn’t help but smile.
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“I was just trying to enjoy it and laugh at what (Kohli) was saying because some of it was quite funny,” Renshaw said after play.
“He was just reminding me to run off and go to the toilet again which happened in Pune, so it was quite funny.
“There was a bit of talk but I think that’s because just (Smith and Kohli) are trying to unnerve each other and try and get under the skin.
“It’s about embracing different conditions and challenges that we get.
“It was all good fun and a good contest out there.
“It was really loud out there when (Kohli) was doing that (pumping up the crowd) but it’s something I’m probably not used to.”
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Renshaw was inadvertently the spark that lit the fire between the two skippers when stood his ground at the non-striker’s end and denied off-spinner Ravi Ashwin from preventing Smith a single to long-on to get off the mark first ball.
Both Ashwin and Kohli came after Renshaw before Smith intervened and defended his rookie opener’s actions.
Standing umpire Nigel Llong settled things down but tensions continued to flare between the two leaders and best Test batsmen in the world.
“We all took it pretty well and we know that they’re trying to get under our skin because we’ve got a one-nil lead in the series,” Renshaw added.
The heated discussion continued right through to drinks where the two teams, separated by only a few metres, kept up the talk while they rehydrated, with the two skippers front and centre.
Out in the middle of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium pressure cooker was India first-drop Cheteshwar Pujara, who said the banter between the two sides was all above board.
“When we play Australian team there is always some sledging involved, I don't know what were the exact words,” Pujara said.
“There were some moments where we were exchanging a few words but it was all in the spirit of the game and there was nothing personal.
“They were just having a chat."
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Renshaw, who scored a resilient 60 from 196 balls to help Australia to a 48-run lead at stumps on Sunday, said he has a tactic when the verbal barbs are pointed his way.
“I don’t try and say too much out there,” he said. “I just try to smile because in my past experience smiling seems to unnerve the bowlers a bit more than talking back.
“They seemed to get quite frustrated. I’m trying to just enjoy it out there and have fun.”