Rohit Sharma fiercely defended his teammate and fellow batsman Cheteshwar Pujara at the press conference after Day 3 of the Headingley Test between England and India. Pujara has been under the scanner of late but he responded to his critics with an intent-filled unbeaten 91 off 180 balls.
Pujara walked out to bat after lunch, with India just having lost KL Rahul. He was under severe pressure, having failed to score a fifty in his last 11 innings. The track was easing out, and the platform was set for him.
He was gifted with a few freebies on the leg-side by the English bowlers and that was all he needed to get into the groove. He played fluently, notching up his 30th international fifty.
At the press conference, Rohit was vocal about his displeasure regarding the talk surrounding Cheteshwar Pujara. He defended his teammate and stated that the team hasn’t brought up his poor form at any stage.
“The talk is outside, not inside. We haven’t had a single talk about his batting. Our memories are little bit shortened. We need to think what he has done over the period of years,” Rohit claimed.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli safely guide India to stumps on Day 3
While the Pujara-Rohit partnership steadied the ship and ensured the team doesn’t capitulate like the first time around, the Pujara-Virat Kohli partnership established its dominance on Day 3. The duo looked extremely settled at the crease, with the English bowlers not getting any assistance from the pitch.
Boundaries flowed during their alliance, making their intentions clear that they will not go into a shell. Bad light came into play later on in the day, forcing England to bowl at both ends with their spinners.
India made the most of this period, milking runs at will. Pujara in particular used his feet with aplomb and made the most of his stay. Eventually, England wanted to take the new ball after 80 overs but bad light forced the umpires to end the day’s play with India at 215/2, trailing England by 139 runs.