Before the Indore Test against Australia, senior India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara had hit only 15 sixes in his 100 Test career. In the second innings in Indore, Cheteshwar Pujara hit his 16th career six in Test cricket.
And he did to none other than the champion off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who had a terrific day with the ball, finishing with figures of 8/64 as India got bowled out for 163, giving Australia the target of 76 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara gritty 59 saved India today
In the 55th over, Cheteshwar Pujara spotted a tossed-up delivery from Lyon pitching well outside off, but it turn in big. Pujara judged the length perfectly and danced down the track to smoke it over mid-wicket.
Everyone – the crowd, the bowler, the fans watching it – were stunned because Pujara rarely hits the ball in the air, let alone a six, that too on such a viciously turning pitch. The crowd erupted in big cheers on this rare sight of a maximum from Pujara.
Sitting in the dressing room, India captain Rohit Sharma had a big smile on his face. In fact, before this, Rohit had sent a message to Pujara and Axar with substitute Ishan Kishan that if the ball if full, then the batters should aim for the boundary as he felt blocking around won’t do much to the scorecard.
Pujara seemed to have listened to Rohit as he whacked Lyon in the stands of the Holkar stadium.
Watch: Rohit Sharma’s reaction to Cheteshwar Pujara’s six:
Barring something really chaotic and extraordinary, Australia are on the course to a victory in the Indore Test. They will need 76 runs when they come out to bat in the morning of Day 3 while the Indian bowlers will need pin-point accuracy and some great luck to make a match out of this small total to defend.
It was Cheteshwar Pujara’s gritty knock of 59 that helped India overcome the trail of 88 runs. Shreyas Iyer too counter-attacked with 26 runs from 27 balls. Rest, nobody else could score more than 20.
When asked about his six, Pujara said, “I am learning few more shots and if there’s a situation or demand then you get few quick runs, I have been working on that and I’m confident that whenever it is needed I can play the (big) shot.”