Australia were 23-2 against India at stumps on day 4
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 19, 2017,
Mar 19, 2017, 14:25
Yesterday, it was pretty clear that the ball was not coming on to the bat, and the Australians keen to exploit the legstump line.
Pujara batted more than five sessions in his unbeaten innings, spanning 10 hours and 53 minutes, as his showed his love for occupying the crease for long hours.
Resuming the day at 360/6, Pujara passed 150 in an unbroken century stand with Saha as India closed in on Australia's first innings total of 451. Pujara lost two partners with not much added in between the dismissals. During his stay in the middle, Kohli never looked his usual self as the Australian spinners bowled in tandem. Cummins was hit for three boundaries. Three features of this innings - as they are with other Pujara innings - were patience, defence, driving powers, and use of feet.
But Rahane could not convert his start and got out in an irresponsible manner while trying to for an uppercut against a short-pitched Cummins delivery.
India fought back towards the end of the morning session but Australia still went into the break in a strong position with captain Steven Smith standing strong at 153.
# Saha and Pujara take their partnership to 50 runs as they tackle O'Keefe and Cummins easily. As always, he had enormous control over his mind that stopped him from playing silly shots.
That's exactly what India did on the second day.
The pair brought their 50-run stand in the 54th over. Day 5 is going to be all about survival for Australia batsmen.
When the India one-day global (ODI) squad then heads to England for the defence of the Champions Trophy, Pujara will once again stay behind, unless some English county is astute enough to acquire his services for a few Championship games. Pujara's methods will be usual: patience and controlled mind. "To produce some of the balls that he produced to get wickets was exciting", said Australia's assistant coach David Saker. He takes a lot of pressure and you can depend on him.
Administrators give lip service to the primacy of Test cricket, but Pujara's story - especially when contrasted with those who have barely played anything more than tennis-ball tournaments - is proof that that is just nonsense. "It was tough to lose those two wickets, some good balls from them, so the challenge for the group is to put into practice on the big stage what we've learned". In this match he took it just a notch further.