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Really proud we finished the game early, now I can go back and meet my wife: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Team India wrapped the match up with over a session of play left on the last day as after Bangladesh lost 8 wickets the post Lunch session was extended. That proved to be a blessing in disguise for their No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara who can now fly back home in time to celebrate his 4th wedding anniversary with his wife.

Pujara has been in splendid form in the home season and has shown just how versatile he is as a batsman. He also created a record for most runs in first-class season with over 1659 runs. In the second innings when he walked out to bat the team needed some quick runs and played a run-a-ball knock but maintained his stability, attacked the ball but didn’t take too many risks and scored 54 from 58 balls to ensure the team had enough runs to declare at Tea on Day 4.

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Talking to Ravi Shastri after Team India’s win in the Test match Pujara said: “It’s my 4th wedding anniversary and really proud that the boys finished it early so that I can go back and meet my wife.” The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad has been a happy hunting ground for the Saurashtra batsman. “I have enjoyed playing at this ground, got my first Test hundred here against New Zealand and then got a double hundred against Australia. Even in this game, I missed out on a hundred in the first innings but batted well in the second innings.”

He got out on 83 in the first innings after looking certain for another hundred. Pujara said he would be troubled about it earlier but is a lot settled now and he knows he should be converting the 70s and 80s into bigger scored but will get there eventually. “Recently, I have been missing out on hundreds and getting out in 70s and 80s but overall have been in good form and playing well. Look forward to convert these scores into hundreds. It all started from the Duleep Trophy, before that I was getting out in 70s and 80s but was not getting a big score.”

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“Once I got a double hundred there, I got my confidence and concentration back; my footwork started moving and from there on everything started coming along. Got some runs and then carried it in the New Zealand and England series. Very happy with the way things went.” He added.

The Indian pacers deserve a lot of credit for the way they bowled in the Test. There wasn’t a lot on offer for the bowlers but they managed to bowl Bangladesh out twice in over 200 overs. The most experienced pacer Ishant Sharma bowled with a lot of fire in the second session on the last day with the soft ball, he ran in hard and used reverse swing.

Though he ended with just 2 wickets should have easily got 4 with Murali Vijay dropping a sitter in slips and the umpire ruling an lbw decision against him while the team had no reviews left. Talking about the bowling effort he said: “I think when the ball is reversing, I know where to bowl. I use the crease as well. We are the no. 1 side and we have to show. We are playing against Bangladesh and have to show them why we are the no. 1 side in the world. You have to be rude in some manners and that is what we are doing.”

“It was tremendous to see Bhuvi and Umesh hit the right lengths. As you said the wicket was flat, you have to bowl in the right areas. It was pretty difficult wicket to bowl on. In these kind of wickets, you need to be patient and bowl in the right areas to get wickets.” Ishant said.

Indian coach Anil Kumble was impressed with the effort of his boys as well. He said: “This was a very good surface to bat on, we had to literally bowl 200+ overs to secure 20 wickets, to bowl more than 120 overs in first innings and then come back and bowl another 100 overs, it was brilliant.”

He thought the pitch would get better for the bowlers as the game progresses but that wasn’t the case. “I expected this track to break up a bit more on the fourth and fifth day, but nothing like that happened, it held on – great effort from our bowlers. When we have a long home season, we need to look after the bowlers. It’s a luxury to have 5 bowlers, but the batsmen have been very good right throughout the nine Tests.” Kumble said.

The lower order has contributed a lot with the bat this season with the likes of Wriddhiman Saha, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja chipping in with crucial knocks with the bat. Praising their contribution the coach said: “I was pleased for (Wriddhiman) Saha to get a hundred here. Even Jayant (Yadav) showed good skills with the bat against England. We were not worried about the surface in any of the Tests over the ongoing home season, just wanted to get the job done.”

He said the team will now start preparing for the bigger test against the touring Aussies that starts in 10 days. “It was a very satisfying win, Bangladesh have come along really well in recent times, it was a good victory in the end. We are now looking forward to face Australia, it will be a tough 4-Test series, really pleased with all the things we are doing, the top-order, middle and lower order- everyone has chipped in, it augurs well for our future.” Kumble concluded saying.

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