Indian team is eyeing a 3-0 lead against Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2023. Men in Blue needs to win at least three matches in four-match series to qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) Final. Cheteshwar Pujara came up with one of his finest knocks in Test cricket to keep India in the ongoing third Test against Australia at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
Men in Blue were firmly on the back foot after the end of the first innings. The hosts were bowled out for just 109 runs in the first innings before Australia scored 197 to take a crucial 88-run lead. In the second innings, team India was off to a poor start once again as most of their batsmen failed.
Sunil Gavaskar felt that Pujara is the epitome of class, composure and technique-
“He showed three things – great patience, good technique and then the intent. Whenever he got a slight chance to punch the ball, he was scoring runs. Whenever he got a chance, he stepped out and drove the ball. In the end, he even hit a six after stepping out,” said former Indian skipper to Star Sports.
While, in the second innings of the Indore Test match, the likes of Shubman Gill (5), Rohit Sharma (12), Virat Kohli (13) and others failed to score big on the turning track. Cheteshwar Pujara, however, stood firm at one end and ensured that India wipe out the lead. He went on to complete a fighting fifty.
‘Nobody else is catching that!’
Nathan Lyon heaped praise on Steve Smith after his incredible leg-slip blinder to remove the dangerous Cheteshwar Pujara in ‘massive’ moment late on day two #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/DepxCKj0Tf
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 2, 2023
“His intention was always to score runs and that he doesn’t have to just stand on the pitch. We saw his knocks in Brisbane and Sydney, there he was trying to tire the bowlers. Cheteshwar Pujara knows extremely well how to adjust his game according to the match situation,” he further added.
The right-hand batter was dismissed by Nathan Lyon for 59 runs, Steve Smith took a blinder at leg slip to dismiss the ace Indian player.
“You need defensive ability in Test cricket, where you can keep out the good balls. If you are a genius like Tendulkar or Sehwag, who used to hit boundaries off good balls, they have a different ability, but Cheteshwar Pujara’s ability is to occupy the crease and tire out the bowlers,” concluded Gavaskar.
While in the third test match, Australia beat India by nine wickets and reached the WTC Final 2023, by avoiding a clean sweep in the series. Earlier in the game, the visitors needed 76 runs to win the third Test match at Indore on day 3, while India was bowled out for 163 runs in the second innings on day 2.
On day 1, India managed to score 109 runs, while the Australian was bowled out at 197 before lunch on the second day. The home side needs to win the fourth test match at Ahmedabad to qualify for the WTC final in England.
Also read: ICC WTC Final – Qualification Scenarios After Australia Beat India To Book Their Place In The Final