75 May Not be Too Many But There’s a Chance, Says Cheteshwar Pujara

Edited By: Aditya Maheshwari

Last Updated: March 02, 2023, 22:32 IST

Cheteshwar Pujara (AP Image)

Cheteshwar Pujara (AP Image)

While the total doesn’t look defendable, Pujara is hoping against hope.

Talismanic India batter Cheteshwar Pujara scored a gritty half-century in the second innings of third Test match against Australia at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore. Pujara was cut above the other Indian batters in terms of tackling the Australian spinners who were brilliant throughout the day. While the wickets kept tumbling from one end, Pujara showed great resilience once again and scored 59 off 142 balls before a brilliant diving catch by rival captain Steve Smith off Nathan Lyon’s bowling ended his vigil.

Pujara advised that to succeed on the Indore pitch the batsman has to trust his defence against the spinners.

Also Read | India vs Australia: Lyon Roars in Indore, Preys on Indian Batting

“It’s a tough pitch to bat on. It’s not easy, you need to trust your defence, make sure you need to get to the pitch or, if it’s short, play off the back foot,” said Pujara, who scored nearly half of India’s second-innings runs, which ensured a lead of 75 for the hosts.

Lyon was once again the standout performer with the ball for Australia as he claimed eight wickets and India were bundled out for just 163.

While the total doesn’t look defendable, Pujara is hoping against hope.

“75 may not be too many, but there’s a chance,” Pujara told Star Sports at the end of day’s play.

Asked about the strategy needed on this track, Pujara said one also needs to attack suitably as he showed by hitting one of his rarest sixes in Test cricket off Lyon.

“You need to attack and defend, a mix, on this pitch. If you keep defending, one ball will bounce and hit your glove. My aim was to be a bit more positive, try and score as many as possible.”

Also Read | Wrists, Whips, Prods: Cheteshwar Pujara And The Art of Playing Spin

Pujara rued that he didn’t have a bigger stand with in-form Axar Patel, who ran out of partners in the end.

“If there was a bit more partnership with Axar, it could’ve helped. I’m learning a few more tricks, if there’s demand, I feel rather than playing too many dot balls, if you can take a few chances, you can get runs. Now I’m confident whenever it’s needed, I can play those shots,” he said.

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