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IND v AUS 2020: Cheteshwar Pujara creates unique record against Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara cutting Nathan Lyon off the back foot.
Cheteshwar Pujara cutting Nathan Lyon off the back foot.
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 18:23 IST
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India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara went past Joe Root as the player to have faced the most number of deliveries against Australia in the current decade on Thursday. India finished Day 1 of the day-night Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on 233 for 6.

Cheteshwar Pujara bailed India out of early setbacks by scoring a 160-ball knock of 43 runs on the opening day of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The knock confirmed that the 32-year-old has now faced 3,609 balls against Australia since January 1, 2011. England captain Joe Root is second on the list, having batted 3,607 deliveries against the Aussies.

Virat Kohli, who continued his love affair with Adelaide by scoring 74 off 180 balls, is one place below Root. The Indian captain has played 3,196 deliveries against Australia since the start of the decade. He is followed by Alastair Cook (3,122 balls) and AB de Villiers (2,300 balls).


Cheteshwar Pujara was solid as a rock in the first two sessions

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli strung a 68-run third-wicket stand.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli strung a 68-run third-wicket stand.

Cheteshwar Pujara came to the crease as early as the first over after Prithvi Shaw was castled by Mitchell Starc off just the second ball of the day. Pujara then joined hands with Mayank Agarwal as the duo blunted the new ball to score 32 runs for the second wicket.

Even though Agarwal (17 off 40) had his stumps taken by a nip-backer from Pat Cummins in the 19th over, Cheteshwar Pujara was undeterred and started building a solid foundation with skipper Virat Kohli to ensure India put up a decent first innings total on the board.

Both players were circumspect and left many a delivery outside the off-stump to tire out the Australian pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. Cheteshwar Pujara also utilized the crease to perfection against Nathan Lyon.

He would rock back, dance down the track to get to the pitch of the ball, and even step out to pad away the off-spinner. Unfortunately, the latter proved to be his undoing as another rising ball in the 50th over caught the inside edge of Cheteshwar Pujara’s bat and ballooned to a diving Marnus Labuschagne at leg-slip.


Published 17 Dec 2020, 18:23 IST
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