Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara defied the odds to score his 15th Test hundred against England at Southampton.
From being dropped in the first Test to scoring a potential match-winning century in the fourth Test, Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has proved yet again as to why he remains India’s premium batsman in cricket’s ancestral format.
Being dropped hasn’t happened for the first time in Pujara’s career. Neither has coming back to take hold of his spot. Coming in to bat at No. 3 in the eighth over, Pujara was yet again set to face the red swinging cherry against the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. He relished the challenge, like he normally does.
Pujara was his usual self throughout the innings, taking his time to get his feet in. Ten overs later, just when things appeared to be better for the visitors, Broad induced an edge off Shikhar Dhawan’s bat.
It was another of those moments where Pujara and captain Virat Kohli had to put in the hard yards. The only difference which remained was that this time Pujara was the one to see the innings through. Kohli batted well for his 46, but ended up edging a Sam Curran delivery to Alistair Cook at first slip.
With the rest of the batting line-up falling like pack of cards, Pujara was stranded at the non-striker’s end looking for someone who would just lend him support so that he guides the team through 246, England’s first-innings score.
In the same over that Kohli got out, Pujara completed his half-century. By this time, he was set in his own terms. Not that he started to play the aerial shots but was being himself in terms of accumulating the runs slowly.
Batting with the tail is not easy. Someone of a reputation of a dasher is usually considered suitable for this job for runs can be scored quickly in such a situation. However, Pujara put down that notion as he batted his usual self to complete his first Test century in England in the 73rd over of the Indian innings.
It was at this time that he started to play shots that you would rarely watch him play. Stepping out to the spinners, Pujara usually played the big shots and also found the gaps to perfection as India went past the English total in the 78th over. Credit also goes to Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah for having the patience to hold one end.
As India got all out on 273, Pujara remained unbeaten on 132* (257) with the help of 16 fours. If India manage to yield out a result in this match, this Pujara century will be undoubtedly remembered for the years to come.
Watch the video to see how he celebrated the feat:
WATCH – Pujara brings up his 15th Test century https://t.co/OEPj69C6Rr
— The SportsRush (@The_SportsRush) August 31, 2018