Debutant Moises Henriques was a bright spot, besides skipper Michael Clarke and fast bowler James Pattinson, in an otherwise poor Aussie show in the first Test that concluded at Chennai yesterday.
Making the playing XI was itself a distant dream for Henriques. It was Andrew McDonald’s untimely injury that helped the 26-year-old all-rounder board the India-bound flight at the last moment. A gritty, unbeaten 81 — following his well-made 68 in the first innings — that actually spilled the match on the fifth day at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The New South Wales all-rounder, who never performed according to potential, came good at the right time when the invincible Aussies were staring at a defeat inside four days.
The most important part of his batting was his application. Henriques stuck to the basics and never let go any opportunity of scoring despite being under pressure. His shot selection was near perfect and looked comfortable against the Indian spinners on a turning track.
Henriques, who led Australia in U-19 category, showed enough signs of transforming into a key Test match player after having excelled in the shorter formats. He added 66 runs for the last wicket with Nathan Lyon to delay the inevitable and never looked as if he was batting with a No 11 batsman during his 159-minute stay at the wicket.
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