Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Indian pace bowler Ashish Nehra hailed Cheteshwar Pujara for batting aggressively against South Africa in the second Test at the end of Day 2.

South Africa had a tough time on Day 2 of the second Test as their batters struggled to score runs against a formidable Indian bowling unit.

All-rounder Shardul Thakur orchestrated India’s comeback in the game with his stupendous bowling efforts. Thakur first broke the resistance of Dean Elgar and youngster Keegan Petersen as he claimed seven wickets for 61 runs to limit South Africa’s lead to 27.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara (Image Credit: Twitter)

India needed just 7.4 overs to clear the deficit but lost openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal in 12 overs. However, the experienced pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane remained firm at the crease and defied Proteas bowlers to run through their batting line-up.

Cheteshwar Pujara looked in good zone: Ashish Nehra

Pujara displayed his sheer brilliance to tackle the South African bowlers’ pace and bounce and smashed seven boundaries in his unbeaten 41-run stand with Rahane.

Nehra said that Pujara looked in good touch and brilliantly played the bad balls, punishing them for boundaries.

Pujara took full advantage of the bad bowling and came out with an aggressive mindset today (Tuesday). It is not like he drove balls from outside the fifth or sixth stump. He looked in the zone today,” Nehra told Cricbuzz on Tuesday.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. Credits: Twitter

Often in the past, he has defended half-volleys. That’s just the way he plays but today he took advantage of such deliveries. Considering the pitch, he seemed to have come in with the game plan that if the ball was there to hit, he would go after it. It was good to see that and Ajinkya Rahane also backed him well,” he added.

Marco Jansen is definitely a threat for India: Ashish Nehra

Marco Jansen got the wicket of KL Rahul while Duanne Olivier trapped Mayank Agarwal for LBW. Nehra applauded Jansen for coming hard against India’s stand-in skipper and intensely bowling the bouncers.

Apart from the pitch factor, a lot of credit for KL Rahul’s dismissal should go to the bowler. If you look at the deliveries that Marco Jansen bowled before getting Rahul out, there was not a single loose ball and the bowler had tied up the batter. When you bowl that probing length, any batter will find himself in trouble. With the bounce he is getting, especially under these conditions, he becomes even more dangerous. Rahul got out to a good ball,” Nehra said.

Marco Jansen
Image Source: Twitter

“Anyone who bowls well on this pitch can cause trouble. But, considering the extra bounce that Jansen gets, he is definitely a threat for India. He is still only in his second Test and his impressive performances prove that he has the skills and ability,” he added.

Pujara and Rahane carried their classic performance on the third day as well as the duo forged a 111-run alliance before the latter departed on 58. After Rahane’s dismissal, Pujara, too, didn’t stay for a long period at the crease and got out on 53.

Also Read: IND vs SA: Sanjay Manjrekar Slams South Africa For Bowling Keshav Maharaj The Final Over Of Day 2