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England were bowling a little negative line: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara India
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Indian middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara believes that India still holds an upper hand in the ongoing Mohali Test. In the press meet after the end of day 2, Pujara spoke at length about how the day went for the hosts. India ended the day at 271/6 in response to England’s first innings total of 283. At one stage, when Pujara and Virat Kohli were batting, India seemed to be cruising towards a massive lead.

However, a flurry of wickets in the last session saw England make a comeback in the match. A counter attack by R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ensured India were only 12 behind England’s score on day 2. Cheteshwar Pujara, on the personal front, continued his merry run with another half century. He added 75 runs for the 3rd wicket with Virat Kohli.

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He felt that they showed a lot of character despite England bowling negative lines. “I think we did not struggle but the lines that they were bowling were a little negative. But I still feel the way we batted, we showed character. We were leaving the balls outside the off-stump and we built a partnership, which was crucial for the team,” mentioned the Saurashtra lad.

“The second session was good for us. I won’t say they had an advantage as I mentioned earlier that lines that they bowled were slightly negative,” reiterated Cheteshwar Pujara.

He also remarked that the Indians stuck to their gameplan. It was only unfortunate that they lost a little too many wickets in the last session. “See, everyone has a gameplan. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way we batted, we stuck to our plans. Obviously, in the last session, we lost many wickets, which we didn’t want to but things happen,” quoted Pujara.

After having lost 4 quick wickets, team India recovered well with Ashwin and Jadeja putting on some vital runs. Pujara cited it as a fitting comeback to the match. “But as I said, we recovered well from that. We have been leaving balls well, not particularly in this Test, in the past also we have left balls outside the off-stump as batsmen have a clear game plan,” said the Indian batsman.

He was in all praise for Ashwin and Jadeja. Whatever runs they end up scoring, will be crucial for India. “I think we have an advantage that both our all-rounders are playing. Probably the first session will be crucial for us. Our gameplan will be really simple. Looking to get a lead of around 75-100 runs and then continue batting. Both of them can bat. As we saw in the last game that Jayant Yadav can also bat. So our lower order has been contributing in all Test matches and we expect them to contribute tomorrow as well,” Cheteshwar Pujara pointed out.

R Ashwin was not very comfortable while running between the wickets. Pujara said that he is unsure about what the reason could be. “I didn’t speak to Ash after he came out. But when he was bowling, there wasn’t anything wrong. Probably, he might have got some niggles, when he was batting. I am yet to speak to him,” Pujara added.

Parthiv Patel made a comeback to the Test side after almost a decade. Pujara heaped praise for the Gujarat wicket-keeper. He said that the experience of First Class cricket has helped Patel a lot.

“Parthiv has been a good batsman and the kind of runs he has scored in First Class cricket, it could be seen in his confidence in this game. Another thing is that he has the experience of playing lot of First Class cricket and he has played Test cricket at the age o 17, so probably he has matured now, kind of form he is in, he will continue batting well in the second innings,” conceded Pujara.

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