Following the end of day one’s play, Cheteshwar Pujara has reckoned that India are in a good position at 233/6 and stated that there is enough in the pitch for the bowlers. Alongside that, Pujara also stressed upon the importance of playing with patience under such extreme bowling conditions.
At 100/2, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli at the strike, India were in a consolidating position taking the attack to the Australian bowlers. However, at the same time, Nathan Lyon’s spell was causing an outright danger to the right-handed Pujara, who streakily got past his challenge. Eventually, it was the off-spinner who had the last laugh, inducing an edge from Pujara to send him back, at 100/3.
While Australia made the inroads, the duo of Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane took the Australian attack by their horns, with Rahane even taking on the Lyon threat, which propelled India to a decent first innings total at the end of the day. However, post Rahane’s brain-fade moment, India found themselves reeling at 233/6 at the end of day’s play.
In the post-day press conference, Pujara reckoned that India ended the day in a good position, at 233/6 and also stressed on the fact that there is enough in the pitch for the Indian bowlers to capitalise on Day 2. He also put down the suggestions of playing at a quicker pace during the second session of the day, admitting that there was no strategy as such from the management. Alongside that, he also downplayed any regrets on the way they batted.
“Not at all, we were in a very good position, and I don’t think you can have such a strategy to score in the first two sessions when the ball is swinging. If we had more wickets in hand, even when they took the second new-ball, we could have got enough runs. Strategically, I don’t think we have any regrets about how we batted today. It was a great day of Test cricket and there is enough in it for the bowlers. We are in a good position and if we can add more runs on the board tomorrow, that should be enough,” said Pujara in the post-day press conference.
Pujara’s knock in New Zealand was heavily criticised, especially for not converting his slow starts into a monumental score. On day 1 of the Adelaide Test, the Saurashtra batsman found himself in a similar batting pace, which got the appreciation of the fans but Pujara was keen on stating the importance of ‘patience’ in Test cricket, especially when the ball does a lot.
“See patience is really required in Test cricket and you really play according to the situation. In case there is nothing for the bowlers, you can play really aggressively but when it is a good bowling wicket, you need patience. You can’t play your shots and the team requires a good start and if the team gets a good start, then the bowler’s advantage will be reduced,” he added.
Alongside that, Pujara also stated that the first two sessions of the Test often in such conditions remains a crucial part and there is no room for extravagant shot-making, after scoring a 160-ball 43 on day 1.
“The margin of error would be reduced and they will want to experiment. In case you have a total below 200 overseas, it makes it tough for you. The first two sessions remain very crucial in such conditions and there you can’t be extravagant and need to play the day out.”