Chasing 400 runs on day four and five is always difficult: Cheteshwar Pujara

Chasing 400 runs on day four and five is always difficult: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Centurion from the Rajkot Test, Cheteswar Pujara on Sunday asserted that the Indians were in the driver’s seat by the end of Day 4 in the Vizag Test as England have an uphill task ahead of them.

Chasing 405 to win, England began strongly without losing a wicket in the first 50 overs. Teenager Haseeb Hameed complemented his captain very well before the duo fell to Ashwin and Jadeja respectively before the close of the day’s play.

“When you have 400 runs on the board it is not easy to chase in India. Chasing 400 runs on day four and five is always difficult. Not many teams have done that. So I don’t think England will find it easy to manage that,” Pujara told reporters after the end of the day’s play on Sunday.

“We definitely have a very good chance so we will go hard tomorrow,” the star batsman said.

The spinners were able to extract some sharp turn from the pitch and the visiting side will have their work cut out on the 5th day. Some balls kept really low and the visitors will have to bat out of their skin to save the Test match.

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“Obviously, when we are playing in India we expect the ball to keep low. Even if you bat defensively on this track, it will not be easy. Like we saw today, the ball is keeping low sometimes. So even if they try to be defensive, I don’t think it will be an easy task,” the right-hand batsman said.

“We have very clear plans. It will be a tough day for them. But things won’t come easy for us also. We know that. So we won’t take things for granted. We will definitely have to come hard at them. We are prepared for it.

“When it comes to Test cricket as a team we are prepared to be in a situation where we have to work hard for our wickets,” he added.

Pujara was happy with India’s performance on Sunday as they implemented their strategies to perfection and had England on the back foot by the end of the day’s play.

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“We are happy with the way things went. We got two wickets. We knew that it won’t be easy to get them out. But we had our plans and we knew what we wanted to do. Ultimately we achieved what we wanted.”

“We got two wickets at the end of the day. I don’t think day five will be easy to bat on. Cracks are opening up and it will be difficult. Even day three third session was difficult. So I feel it won’t be an easy wicket to bat on,” Pujara said.

The ongoing Test series is the very first time that BCCI has agreed to the Decision Review System (DRS) after opposing it for a long time. Pujara also conceded that the team management was making large-scale ideas on how to utilize the DRS to their advantage.

“We all sat together and decided how we should take calls on the DRS. Especially when we are fielding. The bowlers will call for the DRS and even when we are batting, we have a clear plan. Specially both the batsmen will decide whether to take the review or not. So as a team we are very clear about it.”

Speaking about the wasted reviews by India on the penultimate day, Pujara added, “It was the right call because we wanted to get wickets. There were a couple of close calls and we thought of getting the breakthroughs. The close-in fielders also thought it was close. I think it was the right call. I’m happy with the way things went.”