Twitter Reactions: Cheteshwar Pujara's gritty ton keeps India ahead on a topsy-turvy day

Twitter Reactions: Cheteshwar Pujara’s gritty ton keeps India ahead on a topsy-turvy day

England came back well in the contest thanks to Moeen Ali's five-wicket haul.

Cheteshwar Pujara hundred
India batsman Cheteshwa Pujara celebrates his century. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The second day of the fourth Test match began with a hope for India that their batsmen will bat big and take a lead on a good pitch. It turned out to be a topsy-turvy one and Cheteshwar Pujara stood out not only for scoring a wonderful century but also for the way he marshalled the number 10 and 11 to frustrate England. Moreover, he was also successful in giving his team an all-important lead of 27 as they were bowled out for 273 runs.

The opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul looked confident at the start as runs came thick and fast in the first couple of over of the day. But the latter was deceived with an incoming delivery by Stuart Broad and then started the attritional Test cricket. Pujara came in blocked every ball and at one stage he was only three off 32 balls. Dhawan also slowed down considerably and the tight line against him worked for Broad again.

Brilliant partnership

Virat Kohli arrived and suddenly the run-scoring became easy. Pujara was set until then as the duo batted superbly threatening to bat the opposition out of the game. There was nothing for the bowlers in the wicket it seemed and they added 92 runs for the third wicket. However, Kohli lost his concentration for a wee bit and lost his wicket to Sam Curran after which Ben Stokes came and started to make things happen.

He got the crucial wicket of Ajinkya Rahane and then began the collapse. Moeen Ali got stuck into India’s lower-middle order and they collapsed from being 181/4 to 195/8. England were ahead now with 51 runs still in the kitty and must have fancied a handy first innings lead.

Frustrating tail

Ishant Sharma arrived and his front foot defence gave Pujara the assurance. He played some superb sweep shots and then his set partner grown in confidence as well. The spinners were played out easily and just when the 32-run partnership was starting to frustrate the hosts, Ali got Ishant to complete his five-wicket haul with India’s score reading 227/9 and most importantly Pujara on 96.

England would’ve once again fancied themselves to bat for a longer period of time but seldom did they know that Jasprit Bumrah will make life difficult for them. Meanwhile, Pujara amazingly shifted gears and played a lofted shot to reach his 15th Test century. But then, he didn’t let the concentration drift and played it smartly. Somehow, by playing unorthodox shots he farmed more strike and when it came to Bumrah to play out an over, he expertly did it.

In no time, India were in the lead and the tails of the visitors went up even as Pujara remained unbeaten on 132. Bumrah was finally dismissed but the last wicket managed to keep England in the ground for almost 15 overs.

Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings, the nervy openers, denied the bowlers any wicket in the tricky four-over period and India’s lead to 21 runs.

Here’s how Twitterati reacted during the course of the day:

Keep following CricTracker for more news and updates.