Team India Badly Wanted A Draw: Cheteshwar Pujara

Team India Badly Wanted A Draw: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (Credits: Cricket.com.au)

India’s batting mainstay, Cheteshwar Pujara says that the team is very much satisfied with a draw in the recently concluded third Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series against Australia in Sydney.

Australia set India a mammoth target 0f 407 on tea at Day 4 with 4 sessions to play. On the morning of Day 5, swashbuckling batsman, Rishabh Pant, in his adventurous style of play, counter-attacked the Australian bowling. Taking the attack to the Aussie bowlers, Nathan Lyon in particular, he raced to 97 and gave the fans and the team a glimmer of hope that the total of 407 can actually be chased down.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Credits: Twitter)

However, Pant fell in trying to hit Lyon for another maximum. A few overs later, Pujara was dismissed by a peach of a delivery from Josh Hazlewood for 77 after grinding for 205 balls.

We did not have too much depth: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored twin fifties in the match, reveals that after Pant’s and his wicket, the team was just hoping that the two new batters at the crease – Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin – survive the rest of the day and draw the match. The 32-year-old points out that they didn’t have any batting depth – if another wicket would have fallen, it would have opened the door for the Australian bowlers to bowl against an injured Ravindra Jadeja and a tail that is poor with the bat.

India, Australia
Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin grit it out to help India salvage a historic draw [Photo-Twitter]
And the pair of Vihari and Ashwin did save the match. They copped blows on their bodies; battled their own injuries – Vihari sustained a hamstring while batting and Ashwin was having back pain since Day 4 – and came out trumps against arguably the strongest Australian bowling attack. Both the right-hander held the fort for an enormous 259 balls drawing the match out.

“We were quite tense and nervous as we wanted a draw badly. Because of the way we started, there was also a time when we had a very good opportunity to win the match. But when Rishabh got out and then when I got out after that, the possibilities got reduced slightly because Vihari had got injured and Jaddu was also not fit. So, we did not have too much depth,” Cheteshwar Pujara told Sony Sports Networks.

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