Australia vs India: Russell Arnold calls Cheteshwar Pujara ‘the real Test batsman’
Arnold was however asked by fans in response whether his own team could win the first ODI against New Zealand.
It is captain Virat Kohli who generally bags the lion-share of the accolades for India’s batting gains nowadays, especially in away tours. But the ongoing Test series in Australia saw a departure from the tradition as Cheteshwar Pujara pipped his skipper to become India’s most cherished batsman.
The 30-year-old batsman picked up his third Test hundred of the tour at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday and the 18th overall in his career to extract applause from all quarters. Pujara was not out on 130 at stumps on Day 1 after powering India to 303 for 4 in the first innings after Kohli won the toss and elected to bat.
Pujara started off the series with a match-turning and eventually match-winning 123 in the first Test in Adelaide which India won by 31 runs. He failed to do the same in the second Test in Perth where India lost. The No.3 batsman then slammed 106 in Melbourne where India won again take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series.
The current score of 130 not out is Pujara’s highest on Australian soil in Tests though the highest of his five Test hundreds scored against Australia is 204 which he scored at home in 2013. Pujara has another double hundred against Australia at home in 2017.
Pujara has scored 3 hundreds so far; Kohli 1; Australia none
Like several others who applauded Pujara for his feat, former Sri Lanka batsman Russell Arnold also chipped in. Taking to Twitter, Arnold called Pujara “The real Test batsman” and commended him over his “outstanding effort”. Even the great Kohli has managed just one hundred in this series which came in Perth. The Australian batsmen are yet to produce their first ton of this series. Pujara’s hunger for runs in the series made Nathan Lyon ask him in Day 1 whether he was not yet bored scoring runs.
Here’s his tweet
Pujara the man #AusvInd The real Test batsman. Congratulations on another outstanding effort!!
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) January 3, 2019
Arnold was however asked by fans in response whether his own team could win the first ODI against New Zealand. The home team belted the Lankan bowlers in the game at Mount Maunganui scoring a massive 371 runs in 50 overs and the visitors lost the game by 45 runs.