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Virat Kohli applauds Pujara and Jadeja for taking their game to a different level

Both Pujara and Rahane scored convincing tons in the first innings of the 2nd Test match against Sri Lanka.

Virat Kohli India
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian team registered its biggest win in Sri Lanka by beating the hosts by an innings and 53 runs in the 2nd Test at Colombo. The No 1 ranked team has now won their 8th Test series in a row. The Indian team skipper Virat Kohli is proud of his boys for the incredible performance and their contribution as a team.

Virat went on to mention the importance of players such as Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the Test team. He praised both the right handers and especially Pujara, who played his 50th Test match at Colombo for his hunger for runs in every innings he plays. The skipper suggested that Pujara has taken his game to another level in the past one year and has contributed consistently for the Indian cricket.

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Pujara has contributed consistently

Both Pujara and Rahane scored convincing tons in the first innings of the 2nd Test match against Sri Lanka. “Pujara and Ajinkya are our two best Test batsmen, especially in the middle order. They’ve been doing so well consistently. Pujara, I would give him more credit because he only pays one format for India. And to be able to have that hunger and passion day in and day out, working hard on his game, coming out and having those consistent performances takes a lot of mental strength,” said Kohli.

“And he’s (Cheteshwar Pujara) a guy with a lot of mental strength. He obviously has the game. He knows how to score runs, which is the most important thing. He has evolved massively as a cricketer since then. All of us have, but Pujara’s game has gone to another level. If you see last season, continuing now, he’s got about 1500 runs which is outstanding. All credit goes to how hard he works on the game, and how he thinks about his game as well,” he added.

Match Story

Indian team skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat. The visitors went on to register a mammoth total of 622-9 before declaring in the first innings in which Cheteshwar Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132) scored convincing tons. The hosts couldn’t put up a significant fight in the first innings as they were bowled out for a paltry total of 183 runs. With a lead of more than 400 runs in his bag, skipper Virat Kohli chose to enforce the follow-on.

However, the Sri Lankan showed some composure and fighting spirit for the first time in the series during the second innings with the bat. But with the wicket taking a lot of turn, it was only a matter of time before things went down for the hosts. The Lankans were bowled out for 386 runs on the 4th day of the Test match after some fighting resurrection showed by opener Dimuth Karunaratne (147) and middle order-batsman Kusal Mendis (110).

Jadeja’s all-round abilities

Indian team all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was awarded the Player of the Match for his match-winning performance in the 2nd Test. He scored an unbeaten knock of 70 runs and claimed 7 wickets in the match, including a five-wicket haul in the second innings. “He has the ability, he believes in it and he has worked extra hard in the last 10-12 months on his batting also. He has bowled so much that the other discipline was left behind, but now he’s catching up in that as well. It is only going to do good to him,” said Kohli in praise of the left arm spinner.

“Jadeja can give you a very quick 60-70 runs anywhere at any stage of the game, it can really turn the game. Remember Lord’s, remember Dharamshala against Australia, those are very important innings, the 90 against England in Mohali,” Kohli said.

“If he doesn’t bowl well on a particular day, he can score runs. Once he scores runs, then he gets confidence with the ball also. He’s always in the game, his fielding as well.

I would say he’s a very valuable cricketer for us,” the captain added.

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