Ranchi: Australia opener Matt Renshaw on Thursday said his skipper Steve Smith led from the front with the bat, showing that the visitors are here to play cricket.
After all the attention shifted to the controversy over the Decision Review System (DRS) at the end of the second Test in Bengaluru where Smith tried to seek nod from teammates sitting in the dressing room balcony for a DRS on an LBW decision, in Ranchi the right-hander played a sublime knock of 117 not out to help the visitors get out of the woods after they were reeling at 140/4 at one stage.
Smith was supported by Glenn Maxwell who came into the side in place of injured all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, remaining unbeaten on 82 off 147 balls.
"Yeah, I think he's handled this whole situation really well and just showed that we're here for a cricket series and showed how to do it today," Renshaw, who scored a well-made 44 before edging to Virat Kohli in the slips off a Umesh Yadav delivery, told reporters at the ned of the first day's play.
"I think he's just come out and trained hard and prepared well and showed us how it was done today," Renshaw said of his captain.
Smith timed his innings to perfection, stemming the rot first after coming in to bat and then playing second fiddle to Maxwell, who played his shots in the later half of his innings after getting his eye in.
"He wasn't too bad. I've never personally played with him, so I'm sure if it's normal or something different. But I think he's looked pretty calm and relaxed and showed that he could play well, and he did well today," Renshaw said of Maxwell who hit five fours and two sixes during his essay.
Asked what Smith did differently to others in the top order, Renshaw, who was guilty of playing two bad shots, on one of which he got out, said Smith did not throw his wicket away like he did.
"He probably didn't throw it away. He might have played a couple of bad shots but he didn't play so he got out, like some of the others did, like I did. So, I think he just made the most of it and made a big score."
Renshaw admitted the top order should have scored more runs.
"We probably would have liked to have scored a few more runs in the top-order but I thought we all probably got a good start but just didn't get on with it and make a big score like Steve Smith did. I think he showed us how to go today."
According to Renshaw, the first session on Friday will be very important in deciding the fate of the Test match.
"I think tomorrow first session is going to, probably, be one of the most crucial in this match. If we can win that session, then we go a long way in winning the Test match."