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Cheteshwar Pujara: England bowled negative line

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SportsCafe Desk

11/28/2016

Cheteshwar Pujara has said England bowled a negative line on day two of the third Test, and that the Indian batsmen displayed character to end the day strongly. Pujara, who hit a fifty along with skipper Virat Kohli, hoped that the hosts would take a 100-run first-innings lead in Mohali today.

"I think we did not struggle but the lines that they (England) were bowling were a little negative. But I still feel the way we batted, we showed character. We were leaving the balls outside the off-stump and we built a partnership, which was crucial for the team,” the Saurashtra batsman told a news conference.

"The second session was good for us. I won't say they had an advantage as I mentioned earlier that lines that they bowled were slightly negative.”

Pujara and Kohli came together for a 75-run partnership that saw India get into a strong position by lunch, but the hosts were curtailed in the second session with England bowling outside the channel. India reached 271 for six at the close, 12 short of England's first-innings total, thanks targely to a late surge by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

"See, everyone has a gameplan. I don't think there is anything wrong with the way we batted, we stuck to our plans. Obviously, in the last session, we lost many wickets, which we didn't want to but things happen.

"But as I said, we recovered well from that. We have been leaving balls well, not particularly only in this Test match, in the past also we have left balls well outside the off-stump as batsmen have a clear gameplan."

Pujara was confident of India taking a crucial first-innings lead.

"I think we have an advantage that both our all-rounders are playing. Probably the first session will be crucial for us. Our gameplan will be really simple. Looking to (first) get a lead of around 75-100 runs and then continue batting.

"Both (Jadeja and Ashwin) of them can bat. As we saw in the last game that Jayant Yadav can also bat. So our lower-order has been contributing in all Test matches and we expect them to contribute tomorrow as well."

He expressed disappointment as his dismissal after appearing set for a big knock, and had a word of praise for Parthiv Patel, who scored 42 on his Test return after a gap of eight years.

"I was disappointed in the way I got out. There was a ball probably I could have hit for four, but I didn't time it well.

"Parthiv has been a good batsman and the kind of runs he has scored in first-class cricket, it could be seen in his confidence in this game. Another thing is that he has the experience of playing lot of first-class cricket and he has played Test cricket at the age of 17, so probably he has matured now, kind of form he is in, he will continue batting well in the second innings.”

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