Mitchell Johnson congratulates buddy Cheteshwar Pujara after the ton at MCG
Pujara scored his second hundred in the series and was a hard-fought knock.
Updated - Dec 27, 2018 10:14 am
Cheteshwar Pujara once again underlined his class and importance in the Indian Test team with a fighting hundred in the first innings of the ongoing third Test against Australia. The right-handed batsman scored his second ton of the series, thus laying the platform for a good total. Prior to his twin failures in Perth, Pujara had scored 123 and 71 in Adelaide to help India win the series-opener by 31 runs.
His latest ton is pretty much at par with the knock in the first Test. The Melbourne pitch caused all sorts of trouble for the batsmen due to its variable bounce. However, Pujara stood like a rock to make sure the hosts do not take command of the proceedings. He came to the crease in the first session of day one after makeshift opener Hanuma Vihari departed for just 8 but not before playing 66 balls.
From thereon, Pujara held his end tight as India made the hosts toil hard. He added 83 runs with debutant Mayank Agarwal (76) before sharing an unbeaten 92-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli to help India close the day on 215 for 2.
The Saurashtra star started the second day on 68 and went on to complete his century in the very first session. With runs not coming at a good rate, Pujara hung in to ensure the hosts do not take an early advantage. By Lunch on the second day, he had added 154 for the third wicket with Kohli in an unbeaten stand. India went in to the break at 277/2, adding 62 runs in the morning session.
High praise from Johnson:
While Mitchell Johnson has lost many fans in India for his anti-Virat Kohli posts, he looks set to make a few after his latest tweet. The former Australia speedster took to Twitter to hail Pujara for his workmanlike innings. Johnson also called Pujara ‘one of the nicest guys in the game’, writing: “Another great 💯 by a great player & by one of the nicest guys in the game 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Well done buddy #pujara #runmachine ”
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) December 27, 2018
Meanwhile, Pujara’s knock ended in a disappointing manner as he was castled by Pat Cummins with a delivery that kept very low. Prior to his dismissal, Pujara 106 runs off 319 balls.