After Rahul Dravid, India needed a backbone that could stand as a wall, no matter what the power of the storm. Cheteshwar Pujara is now performing that role.
Batting is like meditation Cheteshwar Pujara in Melbourne test, 2018-19
His form has been sublime and he is enjoying his game, although the bowlers have not. Interesting this is that the Australians had done all the planning for countering Virat Kohli and his game. They just totally forgot about Pujara. And he has been one heck of a thorn in their side!
Pujara is one of those players who has played 4 innings while facing over 200 balls per innings. A 200 ball innings means that the batsman just himself faced at least 33 overs.
And its not as if Pujara has just been standing there and playing defensive, as Ricky Ponting was alleging in the last match. He has been the highest run scorer by a wide margin for India in the last two series!
And Aussies do know that when Pujara is on crease it is a fight of patience.
“He [Pujara] is a class player. We just have to hold our patience longer than him and we haven’t done that so far,” JR Hazlewood, Aussie Fast Bowler
Hazlewood acknowledged that in this battle of wits, Cheteshwar Pujara was besting the Aussie bowlers all the time.
And, that is the job of an opener in a Test match. To wear down the fast bowlers no matter what their pace, line or length. And despite the body blows, as Pujara got one today on his shoulder by Starc, he did what was needed of him.
Meanwhile Hanuma Vihari has been a great find for India as an all-rounder. He is not just scoring runs but doing so at a good pace and improving by the game! Also, he has turned out to be a useful off-spinner as well!
Vihari is currently attacking 32% of his deliveries in this innings – that's the highest figure he's recorded in a Test knock. #AUSvIND
— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) January 3, 2019
“If it was booing then it’s absolutely disgraceful,” Ricky Ponting on Channel 7
Meanwhile, showing their desperation at the bad performance of their home team and betraying their urge to sledge at the successful captain from India, the crowd at the Sydney cricket stadium booed as Kohli walked in to bat. Something that a lot of Aussies have denounced and felt shameful of.
And, this needs to change in the fans, if the visitors are to be welcomed. Your own home team is not always at the top. Ups and downs are part of sports. What matters is the sportsmanship.
"We should be better than that as a nation. I didn't like it."
Tim Lane on the SCG crowd booing Virat Kohli on his way out to bat. #AUSvIND
— Macquarie Sports Radio (@MacquarieSport) January 3, 2019
Booing Virat Kohli coming back out to bat after tea is an absolute disgrace Sydney. He’s the captain of the team who has done nothing wrong but outclass an inferior home side. Pathetic #AUSvsIND
— Zac Duggan (@ZJDuggan) January 3, 2019
SCG crowd boo when Kohli comes out to bat, but then want Australian cricketers to improve their behaviour #Hypocrites
— Mav13 (@Mav13) January 3, 2019
Booing Kohli? Still? Not only hugely unsporting, but guaranteed to make him play better… @scg
— ᗪOᗰ “ᒪOᖇᗪ Oᖴ ᗩᗯᖴᑌᒪ ᖴOᑎTᔕ” KᑎIGᕼT (@domknight) January 3, 2019
Now watch the first day’s highlights!
Featured Image: Courtesy cricket.com.au