Cheteshwar Pujara is someone, who generally doesn’t prefer to take the aerial route, especially in Test cricket. The Saurashtra batter believes in taking a measured approach in the middle and hardly loses concentration. Even as the likes of Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, have dominated for the national team, in red-ball cricket, Pujara has gone about his business in a pretty efficient manner.
In fact, India’s last tour of Australia last year, Pujara went on to outscore Virat comfortably and ended as the leading run-scorer of the series with three centuries. In the meantime, Pujara racked up a unique record in the ongoing Test versus South Africa at the MCA Stadium in Pune. For the first time in his illustrious Test career, he smacked over-boundaries in back-to-back encounters.
Cheteshwar Pujara plays another matured knock
In the penultimate ball of the 45th over, Pujara smacked Senuran Muthusamy for a maximum over the deep square-leg region. The left-arm spinner churned out a half-tracker and Pujara was quick on his feet to rock on to the backfoot. The batter had ample time to pick the bones out of the loose delivery. Pujara found the middle of the bat and the ball sailed over the ropes with sheer ease.
It was also the first over-boundary of the game after which Mayank Agarwal, who got a century, carved Keshav Maharaj into the stands a couple of times. As far as Pujara is concerned, he hit two sixes in the first Test in Visakhapatnam where the calm-headed customer notched 81 off 148 deliveries in the second innings. In the Pune Test, he carried forward his rich vein of form.
India lost Rohit Sharma early after electing to bat first. It was then the turn of Pujara to inject momentum back into the innings with Agarwal. He was involved in a handy 138-run partnership with Agarwal. He eventually fell prey to Kagiso Rabada after getting 58 patient runs off 112 balls.
Apart from the one six, Pujara also hit nine glorious fours. After his dismissal, Rabada nipped out Agarwal as well. Kohli remained not out on 63 from 105 balls with 10 fours. At the close of play on Day 1, the home team could muster 273 runs before bad light ended play after 85.1 overs.
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