India-Australia Test series was expected to be test of India’s batting might especially the first Pink Ball Test as this was the first time Virat Kohli & Co. are playing in alien conditions under the lights in the longer format.
Being defensively resolute is certainly the need of the hour and Cheteshwar Pujara showed that in evidence on the opening day action on Thursday.
The 32-year-old batsman had to come out to bat as early as the third ball of the match after Prithvi Shaw perished to Mitchell Starc.
From the very first ball the Baroda batsman showed why he is India’s Test specialist as he kept leaving deliveries on the off-stump while trusting the Adelaide pitch’s bounce while poking to take singles and doubles once in a while when the ball came in his zone.
Such defensive approach meant Pujara patiently waited till the 148th ball of his innings to whack his first boundary over the cover region.
This was followed by another boundary off the next ball through the mid-wicket region after Nathan Lyon bowled a short delivery.
It’s worth pointing out that while Pujara was at his defensive best against the pacers, Lyon surely kept him under his spell with the batsman edging the ball to close fielders.
This prompted Pujara to take an aggressive stance against Lyon and hence the two boundaries but the joy was short-lived with Lyon getting him caught at leg slip to Marnus Labuschagne.
He earlier was adjudged not out by the umpire but a confident Aussie skipper Tim Paine called for a review and third umpire overturned the decision with enough evidence of an edge. Pujara’s innings folded at 43 from a 160 deliveries.
More to follow…