Cheteshwar Pujara slammed his 15th century on Day 2 of the fourth Test against England at Southampton as India posted a total 273 runs and mark a thin lead over England.
The 30-year old helped India resurrect their innings after a five-fer from Moeen Ali left them at 195/8.
India were 50 runs away from eclipsing England’s first innings score of 246 when they lost their eight wicket and thinking of gaining an upper hand over them seemed distant.
But then a gritty knock from Pujara marshalled the tail and helped India stand solid and post a 27 runs lead.
Pujara’s first Test century in England garnered a lot of praise from the cricket fraternity. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar also enjoyed his knock and he posted his wishes on Twitter for the batsman. “Determined @cheteshwar was a joy to watch. Crucial innings… match wide open… #ENGvIND,” he wrote.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 31, 2018
Sehwag also took to Twitter to congratulate Pujara. “There are some innings which give you a very different high. Pujara ‘s innings was one of those innings, will be long remembered. Added 78 with Ishant and Bumrah. India will need to bowl really well now,” he wrote.
There are some innings which give you a very different high. Pujara ‘s innings was one of those innings, will be long remembered. Added 78 with Ishant and Bumrah. India will need to bowl really well now pic.twitter.com/WwCJ6EO7Jp
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 31, 2018
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 31, 2018
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) August 31, 2018
Dropped from the side. Came back as an opener on a green SSC pitch. Scored a ton. Carried his bat.
Dropped for Edgbaston. Scores a 50
In Nottingham. A ton here.
Why does Pujara get dropped in the first place?? #EngvInd
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 31, 2018
An exceptional knock under pressure from Pujara. Feel delighted for him and he has ensured India stay in the game. Really top knock @cheteshwar1
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 31, 2018
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) August 31, 2018
A hard fought CENTURY for @cheteshwar1.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 31, 2018
Throughout his stay at the crease on the second day, Pujara played nine per cent false shots which is the lowest for all more than 50 runs in this series after Rahane’s 81 (131) at Trent Bridge.
His innings of unbeaten 132 consisted of 16 fours.
It was Pujara’s fifth Test hundred against England. He now is the fourth Indian with the maximum number of hundreds against England. Only Rahul Dravid (7), Sachin Tendulkar (7), Azharuddin (6) have more tons against England.
Cheteshwar Pujara was benched in the first Test match when KL Rahul was given a chance to play. In the second Test, he could only score 18 runs but he piled a crucial 86 runs in the third Test and with a century in the fourth Test he proved why he is India’s go-to batsman when it comes to the longest format of the game.