Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara yet again played a marathon innings on Day 5 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The 32-year-old showed resilience and his knock kept Team India in the game on the final day.
Batting overnight, Cheteshwar Pujara might have felt the pressure when Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in just the second over of Day 5. However, he forged a fantastic partnership with left-handed batsman Rishabh Pant and kept the Aussie bowling attack at bay.
The duo added 148 runs for the fourth wicket and gave Team India an outside chance of pulling off a miraculous win. Although Pant was dismissed just before the second new ball was available, Cheteshwar Pujara ensured the momentum did not turn in Australia's favour.
Cheteshwar Pujara faced 205 balls for his 77 runs and hit 12 boundaries. Just when one thought Pujara held the key for Team India's chances of winning or saving the game, the 32-year-old was cleaned up by an absolute peach of a delivery from Josh Hazlewood.
With an out-of-form Hanuma Vihari, an injured Ravindra Jadeja, and the Indian tail to follow, Cheteshwar Pujara's wicket has surely put the Aussies in the driver's seat for winning the SCG Test. However, the 32-year-old's gutsy knock proved yet again why he is so valuable to the Indian Team.
Cheteshwar Pujara was criticized by many former cricketers, including Ricky Ponting for his slow batting in Team India's first innings. He had faced 176 balls for his 50 runs. Many believed Pujara's low strike-rate put immense pressure on other Indian batsmen, which led to the visitrs' batting collapse.
However, Pujara silenced his critics in style and showed great balance between defence and aggression. When he was required to bat out a large chunk of Day 5, he managed to do it to a great extent.
Fans on Twitter hailed Cheteshwar Pujara for his valiant innings
While the SCG Test is set up for a brilliant climax, fans took to Twitter to congratulate Cheteshwar Pujara on a gritty knock that might go on to prove crucial in Team India saving the game. Here is what they had to say: