Southampton ton Cheteshwar Pujara’s best knock, feels Virat Kohli

Southampton ton Cheteshwar Pujara’s best knock, feels Virat Kohli

It was Pujara’s 15th Test century and the first since November 2017.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian captain Virat Kohli on Saturday showered praise on Cheteshwar Pujara for his splendid unbeaten century in the first innings of the ongoing fourth Test against England. He called the innings to be the right-hander’s best and one deserved to be right at the top. Pujara remained not out on 132 while in India’s team total of 273 that gave them a lead of 27 runs over the hosts.

The 132 is the 30-year-old batsman’s fifth century against England in Tests and the first on English soil. The century would see Pujara burying the controversy over his poor form which even saw him getting dropped in the first Test in Birmingham. He hit form in the second innings of the third Test at Trent Bridge when he slammed 72 and played a key role in India’s win.

By far the best

Kohli, who was speaking with Pujara during an interview on bcci.tv, said: “It is by far your best knock that I have seen, I thought Colombo was your top knock but this has to be at the top of the table.”

It was Pujara’s 15th Test century and the first since November 2017 when he hit 143 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur.
He drew a comparison between his latest Test century with that in Colombo scored in 2015. On that occasion, he carried his bat to remain not out on 145 against Sri Lanka to help India win the series after coming from behind. He hoped that like in Colombo, his innings in Southampton will also be a series-defining.

“Colombo was challenging but the situation here was even more challenging and the series which is quite balanced now, with that innings we are at commanding position and if we can bowl well today, we can get them out cheaply and win the Test match, so it could be a series defining knock,” said India’s only centurion in this series apart from Kohli.

Pujara came up with key partnerships

Pujara added 92 runs with Kohli (46), 32 with Ishant Sharma (14) and 46 with No.11 Jasprit Bumrah (6) to help India take a lead over England despite facing a mini-collapse. England were 7 down for 259 in their second innings at the time of writing this report which meant they had an overall lead of 232 runs in the game.

Kohli, on the occasion, also praised India’s tail-enders to put up a determined show and help their team gain the crucial lead in the first innings.

“When we were batting we thought we can take 100-plus lead easily but then the team collapsed and then you showed great determination and the tailenders were outstanding,” he said. Pujara also praised the tail-enders for their effort. He said it was because of them that he could reach his hundred.

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