Henriques happy with debut knock

CHENNAI: Moises Henriques says he has seen enough from a spin-friendly south Indian wicket to suggest Australia’s plan to bank on reverse swing in the first Test can come to fruition.
Nanjing Night Net

On debut, the NSW 26-year-old’s first-day 68 helped captain Michael Clarke (103 not out) rescue the tourists’ first innings against an onslaught from local hero Ravichandran Ashwin. While the off-spinner dominated Henriques said India’s two seamers, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, had extracted enough reverse swing from the dusty deck to provide plenty of encouragement for Australia’s bowlers.

Clarke resumes on Saturday with Peter Siddle (1 not out) and Australia 7-316. They will be bowling before long, and have their faith primarily in three fast bowlers – Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Henriques. Only the one specialist spinner, Nathan Lyon, is in the XI, with Clarke expected to provide considerable back-up.

“There was not much seam movement or anything like that but both their quicks were getting it to reverse,” Henriques said. “I think with our quicks they’ll probably penetrate the wicket a little bit more than what those guys did.

“(India) bowled with discipline and hopefully with guys like Jimmy and Peter and Mitch will have a little bit more air speed. There was certainly reverse swing so I think the key with reverse swing is to try to bowl to new batsmen with it and be smart with your fields.”

Portuguese-born Henriques finished the day with strapping around his left shin but said he would be all right to bowl on Saturday.

The presence of his state colleague Clarke, who he has batted with before at Sheffield Shield level, was a great comfort for the first-gamer.

“Luckily after the first ball the nerves died down a little bit but they were going through the roof waiting to bat,” Henriques said. “Then when that wicket (of Matthew Wade) fell and having to walk out the legs started to turn to jelly. But after that first ball and after the first run things started to calm down a little.

“(Clarke) wasn’t too different to when I’ve batted with him before in Shield cricket. He likes to smile out there and we enjoy our cricket and enjoy batting together. I think that relaxing, calming effect that he has and that confidence that he has as a batsman starts rubbing off on the people that he bats with as well.”

He was disappointed with the mode of his late exit, becoming Ashwin’s fourth leg-before victim of the day and sixth in total, but could hold his head high after a contribution in testing conditions that Australia badly needed.

“I really wanted to get through the day and make sure we finished five wickets down,” he said. “I could have been a little bit more ruthless at the end if I was going to be critical. But if someone said you’re going to have 60-odd on debut I’d take it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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