Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s lone hero on the first day with a hundred, stated the fact that the other batsmen in the line-up should have batted well on the first day.
The Saurashtra batsman waged a lone battle on the first day with his 16th hundred, which helped the India innings gain some momentum as they reached 250/9 at the close of play.
We should have batted better but they also bowled well in the first two sessions. I knew that I had to stay patient and wait for the loose balls. The way they bowled, they bowled in the right areas. I also felt that our top order should have batted better but they will learn from the mistakes,” said Pujara.
“Hopefully we will bat well in the second innings. As far as my innings is concerned, I had prepared well and overall I have the experience of first-class and Test cricket and that came in handy today,” he added.
The right-handed batsman stitched crucial partnerships with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma to take India to what he reckoned to be a fighting total.
“It has to be different because when you are batting with the tail, you never know how long can they bat. You have to take your chances but you can’t do the same when you are batting with a (top order) batsman. When you are just 1 or 2 down, you can’t play the same shots.
Reflecting on his dismissal, he added,”Also, the difference is, I had batted for two sessions and I knew what the pace and bounce of the pitch was. I was set, so I could play my shots. I was a bit disappointed but I had to take that single because only last two balls were left and I wanted to be on strike. I took the chance but Pat Cummins fielded brilliantly.”
He also said that 250 is a good enough total as the conditions were tough.
“I would say it is a decent total because there is enough turn. Ashwin will also come into play. It is not an easy wicket to bat on. Sometimes when you are seeing it on TV, it doesn’t look like it is doing a lot. But when I batted in the first and second sessions, I felt it wasn’t easy to bat on and with our fast bowlers, I will share my experience of what line and length to bowl on this pitch.
“It is the grass. The odd ball is skidding on and the odd ball is holding a bit more from the grass. I would say it is kind of a two pace and it is not easy to bat.”
Pujara is not known for hitting sixes but it is something he prepared for ahead of the series.
“To be honest, when I was preparing back home, I was working on a few shots and that was one of them. I wasn’t surprised that I hit it for a six because I had worked on it back home. I had to obviously bat for two sessions to realise that these are the shots I could play and there were some shots which I had to avoid,” Pujara opined.