Cheteshwar Pujara fell eight runs short of his 11th Test century despite producing a calm and composed inning that pretty much took the game away from the visiting Australia and tipped the balance in India’s favour in what had so far been a poor batting show for the hosts. The Saurashtra batsman fell o the 221st ball of his inning. He was chasing his first century since the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam. Pujara’s quest for the 11th Test was curtailed by Josh Hazlewood who capitalised on the pressure on the Indian batting on Tuesday. An over earlier, Mitchell Starc had removed Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair on consecutive deliveries.
Disappointingly for Pujara, this is the third time since 2016 that he’s fallen after reaching 80 runs and first time ever in the 90s – 87 against New Zealand, 83 against Bangladesh and now 92 against Australia. However, it hasn’t been all bad for him this home season with seven fifties and three centuries to his name.
Pujara’s stay was disrupted by Hazlewood when a short of a length ball hit a a crack on the pitch to kick up to his shoulder height and lobs to Mitchell Marsh at gully after taking the shoulder of the bat along with the glove.
Pujara came in to bat one-down after the fall of Abhinav Mukund’s wicket and formed partnerships with KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and a 118-run stand with Rahane. In fact, Rahane and Pujara put together the highest partnership in this Test series.
This venue is special for Pujara as this is where he made his debut in 2010 also against Australia. Then he scored a crucial 72 runs from 89 balls to spearhead India’s win after being promoted from no. 6 to no. 3.