Cheteshwar Pujara, the bedrock of the Indian Test batting line-up, strolled down memory lane and revealed how Rohit Sharma’s counterattack caught Australian bowlers off-guard during the Adelaide Test of the 2018-19 series.
Rohit had joined Pujara at the crease after India had lost the cream of their batting-unit for a mere 41 runs. Rohit played a counterattacking knock of 37 runs during the duos 45-run partnership and the Indian No.3 reckoned that it played a huge role in the visitors getting close to the 250-run-mark.
“When I spoke to Rohit when he came in to bat, he told me that he’s going to take them on. So that was his plan, which was correct at that stage because they were bowling in good areas and he was very confident that he could go after them. So I said ‘sure, you stick to that’. I was there at the other end, I was leaving the ball well, growing in confidence,” Cheteshwar Pujara said on the Sony Ten Pitstop Show.
“Both of us spoke about building a partnership and his plan was to take on the bowlers, which he did. He hit a few quick boundaries and suddenly there was a sense of panic in their bowling line-up. They were trying to figure out which length to bowl but they couldn’t bowl consistently because Rohit was taking them on,” he added.
“Our game plan was working at that stage”- Cheteshwar Pujara
Rohit was ultimately dismissed for 37 but Cheteshwar Pujara went on to convert his start into a match-winning knock, as India went on to win the Test by 31 runs on a tense final day.
“Our game plan was working at that stage. Things were going well. Rohit started hitting boundaries and sixes and then ultimately we thought that anything about 200-250 would be decent on that pitch because there was enough in it,” Pujara added.
“We knew our fast bowlers were really strong and we had a very good line-up. So, the main aim was to put up a good partnership and get a decent score on the board. We were successful in that. After that Ash came in, there was a little bit of partnership with him too. After that, the tail-enders came in so I knew I had to take a leading role. I’ll have to play my shots and take them on. But I could do that because I knew how the pitch was behaving and what areas they’re trying to bowl.” Cheteshwar Pujara added.
Pujara would score two more hundreds in the series, grinding the Australian bowlers to the dust.