Irfan Pathan feels Cheteshwar Pujara is as important as Virat Kohli in the Indian Test side

Irfan Pathan feels Cheteshwar Pujara is as important as Virat Kohli in the Indian Test side

Pujara faced 200 deliveries on the first day and is still unbeaten.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The Boxing Day Test between Australia and India got underway today at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The visitors won the all-important toss and opted to bat first to lose only two wickets throughout the day’s play. India ended on 215/2 after 89 overs and Irfan Pathan is impressed with Cheteshwar Pujara who showed superb grit and determination to remain unbeaten on 68 off 200 deliveries.

After Hanuma Vihari was dismissed by Pat Cummins in the first session, it was important for someone to tire out the bowlers in the scorchin heat and like always, India’s number three stepped up. Pujara was very watchful at the start of his innings and concentrated on gauging the pitch’s behaviour. Though the odd ball was suddenly rearing off the good length area he managed to keep it out.

Pujara first added 83 runs for the second wicket alongside Mayank Agarwal and then kept Australia wicketless in the final session. He and Virat Kohli stitched an unbeaten 92-run stand off 205 balls to end the day on top for the country.

Pathan showers praises on Pujara

Irfan Pathan was keenly following the game it seems as he was delighted to see Cheteshwar Pujara bat like he always does. He highlighted how important it was for the India’s new wall to grind it out in the middle and went on to say that the batsman is as important as Virat Kohli to Team India in the whites at the moment. Pathan is spot on in his analysis as it was Pujara’s knock of 123 in Adelaide which kept the visitors afloat in the first innings when they were in the tatters.

He also scored 71 runs in the second innings then before notching up yet another 50-plus score in Melbourne. India would be hoping for Pujara to score a century as India are hoping to post a mammoth total in the first innings.

“This guy @cheteshwar1 is as important as @imVkohli in test cricket for team India. Keep scoring runs and Most importantly eats up the new ball by playing many delivers up front which makes it easier for the batsmen coming in #AUSvIND,” Irfan wrote in his tweet.

Here’s Irfan’s tweet:

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