Cheteshwar Pujara on monumental innings: Never thought I would play 525 balls

first_imgCheteshwar Pujara scored a tireless double hundred and became the first man in Indian cricket’s rich history to play as many as 525 balls in an innings. Pujara broke his idol Rahul Dravid’s record of playing the most number of deliveries in a Test innings when he faced 495 balls against Pakistan back in 2004.Pujara, who was named Man-of-the-Match, was ecstatic after his superb knock that gave India hope of taking a 2-1 series lead in the third Test. However, Australian duo of Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh batted resolutely to deny India victory. The Ranchi Test ended in a draw and now all eyes will be on Dharamsala where the two teams face-off in the series-decider.”I never thought I would play so many balls, but once I was in I knew I had to bat long to reach close to their total,” Pujara said at the post-match presentation ceremony. (Pujara in league of extraordinary gentlemen)The Saurashtra batsman’s marathon knock was studded with 21 fours but he said played according to the situation and avoided hitting big shots.”I do get tempted to hit in the air, but you have to look at the bigger picture. There was a situation when we couldn’t afford to lose another wicket, so I had to restrict myself. It is natural,” he said.Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha on Sunday joined forces to frustrate Australia with a seventh-wicket record partnership. The duo batted for 317 minutes together and was involved in a 199-run stand for India’s record seventh-wicket partnership against Australia, bettering Hemu Adhikari and Vijay Hazare’s 132-run stand in Adelaide in 1948.advertisement”I think it was much needed for the team. Because we lost six wickets and when Saha came in, we had a chat about building a long partnership to get close to their total,” he added.The series remains tied at 1-1 after the drawn game in Ranchi. India will have to win the final Test to capture the Border-Gavaskar trophy while Australia just need a draw to retain the trophy.The teams have got four days to regroup and Pujara is hopeful of getting ready in time for an important Test which starts Saturday.”We have an opportunity to win the series. You get fatigued by playing such long innings. I do get tired but I have been working hard on my fitness, I focus on my diet. We have an important Test match coming up and I hope that I am ready.”last_img

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