He may be often criticised for his strike rate, but with this innings Cheteshwar Pujara has silenced his detractors for sure. With his old school technique, refusing to rush, choosing instead to defend till the bowler gets tired. At Adelaide, he showed us just what he can do when the Indian batting lineup was in shambles in the first Test against a fiery Australian bowling lineup.
The percentage of boundaries was low in his innings until he realised the tailenders may be a no-show with the second new ball taken in the third session. Batting with the tail aggressively is one art he has perfected lately. He did it against England at Southampton earlier this year, and he did it today as well.
He reached his century in 231 deliveries showing everyone that Test cricket is not just about flashy drives and hitting the ball over the bowler’s head. It is about staying there. Pujara is one player in whose presence on the pitch, nothing happens in the middle until he loses control.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 6, 2018
Twitter was all praises for the 30-year-old seasoned batsman:
Pujara wasn’t a part of the build-up narrative….India or Australia. It’s only fair that he dominates the first day of this #AusvInd Test series. Love it.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) December 6, 2018
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 6, 2018
Terrific innings from Pujara or “Steve” as the Yorkshire men called him as they couldn’t pronounce his first name Cheteshwar ! Congrats on a great
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) December 6, 2018
Pujara brilliant innings!
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) December 6, 2018
He was sure respected when he walked back to the dressing room
— PhD in Bakchodi (@Atheist_Krishna) December 6, 2018
The Wall 2.0
Do you know?
Dravid and Pujara have reached their milestones of 3000 runs, 4000 runs and 5000 runs in Tests in SAME number of innings.
3000 runs in 67 innings
4000 runs in 84 innings
5000 runs in 108 innings
Heights of coincidence! #AusvInd
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) December 6, 2018
The way Pujara has accelerated with the tail shows he can play aggressively but largely chooses not to. Earlier he didn’t score a run for 55 minutes. On a day when his teammates gifted their wickets away he has yet again reminded them of the value of patience. #AUSvIND
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) December 6, 2018
pujara does a pujara amidst the brainfades..#AUSvIND
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) December 6, 2018
The reason why they can’t match the beauty of Test cricket
T10 – T20 fans watching Cheteshwar Pujara’s inning be like – pic.twitter.com/ZXxv9zI0hD
— AayusH (@Cricketician_) December 6, 2018
What is commendable is that Pujara didn’t just concentrate on his batting but tried to impart his wisdom to others in the middle as well when India needed a partnership. When Rishabh Pant was trying to hit every ball, the former tried to calm him down. Though it didn’t work, but hopefully it ended up teaching Pant may have learned a lesson about the difference between a 38-ball 25 and a 100-ball 25 in Test cricket.
He did not give Mohammad Shami much strike when the second new ball came into play. He took it upon himself to increase the scoring rate. It will be apt to say that Pujara doesn’t need a lesson on strike rate. At the end it was no bowler who got the better of him but a sensational direct hit from Pat Cummins.
His spectacular innings ended with a desperate attempt to remain on strike. Irrespective of the match’s result, his 123 from 246 balls will be a talking point of the game nevertheless. On a tour where spotlight was on skipper Virat Kohli, it is Pujara who has turned out to be the ultimate warrior. And, hey! he managed a strike rate of 50 at the end.