Cheteshwar Pujara has made a name for himself through attritional batting displays, but today’s innings crossed all realms of patience. He took as many as 54 balls to get off the mark, which was enough to draw a huge a cheer from the crowd and bring a smile to the faces in the Indian dressing room.
After winning the toss for the first time in the series, Virat Kohli took the brave decision of batting first on the green top of the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg considering the team’s frailties while chasing in the fourth innings. However, the green wicket demanded a lot of patience from the top-order batsmen and it was all down to how they would go on to play South Africa’s terrific opening duo. But the Indian openers failed to give the side a good start yet again and consequently, India
A lot was expected from Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli – India’s two centurions in the last Test that the visitors had played at the venue - and they didn’t disappoint. With the ball moving around a bit and Morne Morkel extracting bounce easily, Pujara remained sedate and didn’t allow the jittery moments get the better of him. While Kohli decided to take occasional singles and couples, Pujara defended with ease and that was sufficient to frustrate the home team.
However, that was not fun for the spectators or even for the players sitting in the dug-out. When in the 18th over, Pujara, playing his 45th ball of his innings, ran for a single, fans erupted in joy, but Ian Gould spoiled the fun as he signalled that as leg-bye. Pujara resumed the innings and so did the prodding.
While there was a missed LBW opportunity in between, everyone wanted Pujara to cut loose and the Saurashtra batsman also finally decided to end his run-less run in the match. By clipping a Lungi Ngidi full delivery behind square, Pujara got off the mark in the 22nd over – his 54th ball.
Watching Pujara pick up first run on the day, the entire Indian contingent erupted in smiles and that made Pujara give a cheeky smile as well. The 90-minute effort for the first run seemed like some Indian player reach century as well with the entire Johannesburg crowd applauding the single to light up the mood.
Here are the best tweets from the game -
What a time to be alive! :)
Pujara’s innings so far! :P
It sure does!
Pujara innings reminds Dravid innings at MCG where he took 41 balls to score first run and got huge cheer from the crowd.— ICC Live Cricket (@ICC2_Live) January 24, 2018
You can't get run out if you don't take a run 😃 #Pujara— Mayanti Langer (@Langer_Mayanti) January 24, 2018
Kohli: Is the match going on at an SBI branch?— Swagpur ka Choudhary (@ABChoudhary007) January 24, 2018
Kohli: Then why the hell is it taking you so long to open your account?#SAvIND