Cheteshwar Pujara is not some player who gets the limelight always in a team which has big-hitting and star batsmen. His batting is not that attractive and he does not get any teams in the glamorous shortest format of the game.
However it is he who emerged as the tallest figure in the first day of the Adelaide Test. Pujara’s gifted century prevented the No. 1 Test team from facing a major embarrassment.
When Pujara walked out in the middle, it was only the third over of the Indian innings. One of the openers have fallen cheaply and the top order was shaking. And when Pujara got out, it was the 88th over of the innings.
He wasn’t dismissed by any bowler but lost his wicket by means of run-out. Perhaps it was the only way his gritty innings of 123 from 246 balls could come to an end.
Pujara’s century meant that the Indian batting lineup was not bowled cheaply on the very first day. Moreover his innings have now given the Indian bowlers something to fight with.
However things weren’t meant to be the way it is. Having won the toss India elected to bat first on a very worthy batting pitch. However the top-order, along with captain Virat Kohli, crumbled soon.
Things were so bad that India were left tottering at 41 for 4 in the 21st over. Rohit Sharma (37), Rishabh Pant (25) and Ravi Ashwin (25) played some cameo innings. But it was with the help of the tail-enders that Pujara reached to his 16th Test ton.
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Pujara’s Yorkshire teammates call him ‘Steve’
Former Australian spin legend Shane Warne congratulated the 30-year-old batsman for scoring a brave century when things were falling apart around him. It was Pujara’s first century in Australia as his previous best was 73 which he had scored in the same venue back in 2014.
Warne also shared a funny anecdote in his tweet. He referred Pujara with the name ‘Steve’ and revealed that Pujara’s teammates in Yorkshire call him by this name.
This is because they could not pronounce his first name. Yorkshire is the county side in England for which Pujara plays county cricket.
Terrific innings from Pujara or “Steve” as the Yorkshire men called him as they couldn’t pronounce his first name Cheteshwar ! Congrats on a great 💯 👍
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) December 6, 2018
With Pujara’s dismissal things came to an end on the first day as India finished with 250 for the loss of 9 wickets. Mohammed Shami is on the crease with 6 runs off 9 deliveries.
Jasprit Bumrah will be India’s last bat who will walk out on the second day morning. All of Australia’s four main bowlers got two wickets each. Among them Pat Cummins has the best economy rate of 2.57.