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After securing the victory against Australia in the second Test, Indian captain Virat Kohli declared Cheteshwar Pujara as one of the “best Test batsmen” in India. And this is statement coming from King Kohli was primarily because of the fighting knock of 92 that Pujara produced in the second innings.
But disappointingly he fell eight runs short of his 11th Test century. However, he had done the job for his team as the balance of the game tipped in India’s favour and the momentum had swung clearly towards the hosts.
For team India it is imperative that Pujara takes up the run-scoring onus upon himself. It is also important that the others in the Indian side allow him to play his natural game even if it does not look glamorous. Pujara has a splendid record against the Aussies at home and has scored 495 runs in five Tests at an average of over 70. ( before this test).
Overall it hasn’t been all bad for him this home season with seven fifties and three centuries to his name. The 28-year-old Rajkot-born cricketer also averages a shade under 50 after 43 Test matches.
Coming back to his innings it was his tremendous application and intent which were the key factors for his success. It was not just to survive but keep the scoreboard ticking. As soon as he came in to bat, he was shaky to start with but looked secure as he spent more time at the crease and trusted his defence despite the variable bounce on the wicket. His knock also sent a huge relief to those back in the dressing room as it showed that the pitch was not a minefield and runs can be scored on it.
Pujara came in to bat one-down after the fall of Abhinav Mukund’s wicket and formed crucial partnerships with KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and a 118-run stand with Rahane. Bangalore has been a special venue is special for Pujara as this is where he made his debut in 2010 also against Australia. He will now look to continue his good form throughout the series.