I think I batted well apart from that particular delivery: Cheteshwar Pujara

Currently, Sri Lanka trail India by 7 runs and they will naturally take lead but considering but an interesting first session awaits on Day 4.

Cheteshwar Pujara
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Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo source: Twitter)
Samreen Razzaqui
SAMREEN RAZZAQUI

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In conditions not usually seen in the sub-continent, Cheteshwar Pujara and former Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews played knocks that were the most impactful in the first Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata between India and Sri Lanka. Both scored 52 each. However, the unusual pitch did not mean that these two batsmen had any complaints.

While Pujara added that conditions like these are a test of character, Mathews said that they were taking such challenges as a means to change their fortunes off-late.

“Experience helps you handle such situations,” said Mathews, 30. Speaking after the Sri Lankan, Pujara added that time spent in the county circuit this year had helped. “It made me play on many challenging wickets and that improved my game,” said Pujara.

Talking about literally the ball of the match so far, bowled by Lahiru Gamage that clipped his off-stump, dismissing Pujara, he said, “Such conditions, especially with so many interruptions, are a test of character. I think I batted well apart from that particular delivery which surprised me with the amount of deviation.”

He also felt the match is now balanced even though the wicket has got better. Currently, Sri Lanka trail India by 7 runs and they will naturally take lead but considering the fact that the bowlers were almost getting into the groove, an interesting first session awaits on Day 4.

Mathews reflects

Sri Lanka’s go-to man, Mathews, on the other hand, seemed positive about his side doing well in the upcoming session. Sri Lanka still have an upper hand in the game and weather permitting, they might also be able to cause a big upset.

“We are confident that if we get them out early tomorrow and if we have enough overs, we have a chance of winning this game,” he said.

After praising the Indian pacers, who in his opinion, “keep coming at them”, cleared out the status of the pitch after the first three days. “On the first day, it was seaming; today (Saturday) it was swinging and seaming. Batsmen had to fight it out. There is still a lot left in the wicket for pacers,” said Mathews.

He has had an injury-plagued journey in cricket and the fact that the all-rounder was making a comeback from a calf muscle injury this time made things difficult. The gravity of the injury is such that Sri Lanka cannot consider him as a bowling option anymore. “It is not easy to get into a rhythm. It’s been quite a frustrating year for me because of injuries. I think it is taking a toll on my body from 2013,” said Mathews.