Cheteshwar Pujara scored his 17th Test century on Thursday against Australia on the second day of the third Test in Melbourne. Pujara faced 280 balls to reach his 17th Test ton in what was a typically gritty knock in Melbourne. While he was finally dismissed for 106, the right-hander felt that on a different surface he could have easily pushed his individual score to 140-150.
“We have to bat like the way the wicket is behaving and what the situation is. On this pitch, every batsman has to play a lot of balls to score runs. If it were a different wicket maybe I would have scored 140-150 after playing so many deliveries. But in Test cricket it is important to read both situation and pitch when batting,” Pujara said while speaking at the post-match press conference.
Admitting that the pitch was difficult to bat on he said, “It is a tough pitch to score on. If we look at first two days number of runs scored are very less and in a way I would say that 200 in a day is a tough task, so I think we have enough runs on the board.”
“As batsmen, there are always doubts when playing on such pitches and the ball which I got out to, I couldn’t have done anything about that. So if it stays low, you have limited options,” Pujara explained.
“As we saw today, the pitch has already started deteriorating and has variable bounce on it. When I was batting yesterday and today I felt there was a difference. So I don’t think it’s easier to bat now. From tomorrow onwards, I think it will get difficult to bat and our bowlers have been bowling well, so I think we have enough runs on the board,” Pujara stated.
However low bounce didn’t affect Pujara. “Low bounce didn’t affect me a lot because I always trusted the bounce on this pitch. But when you have variable bounce it becomes difficult. Pat Cummins is a fantastic bowler and throughout the series he has bowled well.
“He always uses variation in bounce, he has done even in India, and he tries to bowl cross seam in between. I don’t think it was particularly for my wicket. But I think bowling cross seam is obviously helping him (Cummins),” Pujara said.
(With inputs from PTI)