Cheteshwar Pujara stroked his way to his eighth Test century as he scored an unbeaten 101 against New Zealand in the third Test in Indore on Tuesday. This was Pujara’s first century after three half-centuries in this series with the highest score being 87 in the second Test in Kolkata.
After Pujara’s hundred, India declared their second innings for a score of 216/3 and set New Zealand a target of 475 runs to avoid a series whitewash. New Zealand have to bat minimum of 137 overs to save this Test.
This was the right-hander’s first hundred in 14 Test innings and first since his 145 against Sri Lanka in August last year.
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Pujara reached his century in 147 balls with a strike rate of just over 68. This innings also contained nine fours. He had resumed on day four on his overnight score of 1*.
Before the second Test in Kolakta, there was a lot of talk about Pujara’s strike rate and even captain Virat Kohli admitted to have asked Pujara to better his strike rate. Pujara, as evident in the Kolkata and Indore Test, scored quick runs.
Once again in Indore, as India stared at declaration, Pujara shifted gears and went for his shots. He remained unbeaten on 101* off 148 balls.
India are eyeing a series whitewash against New Zealand and a win in the this Test will confirm it. They had beaten the visitors convincingly in the previous two Test in Kanpur and Kolkata.
The win in Kolkata gave India the number one ranking in Tests and ICC will present the Test Championship mace to captain Kohli after the Indore Test.