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India vs Australia: Pujara equals former Australian captain Bill Lawry’s 54-year old unwanted record

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 07-12-2018

Cheteshwar Pujara on Thursday slammed his maiden Test century on Australian soil on the first day of the first Test match at Adelaide. Even as wickets kept tumbling all around him with the other top order batsmen paying the price for their indiscipline, Pujara was a paragon of self-control.

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His regimented approach towards batting yielded great results as Pujara took his time and played a controlled innings to help India recover from a dangerous situation. True to his style, the Indian number 3 settled in without giving an inch to the Australian bowlers, who were hunting in a pack.

But unlike other innings, when Pujara would dig a defensive whole for himself, he kept rotating his strike and played his shots from time to time, not letting the loose deliveries go by. A cut shot off the backfoot through the backward point area off the bowling of Pat Cummins was the highlight of his knock in the first session. 

With India in trouble at 86/5 after Rohit Sharma’s dismissal, Pujara first strung together a 41-run stand with the attacking Rishabh Pant and then played the senior partner’s role in a crucial 62-run 7th wicket stand with Ravichandran Ashwin.

With Ashwin and Ishant Sharma departing in quick succession, Pujara decided to take the attack to the opposition bowlers and brought up his century in style. He continued playing his shots all across the Oval and powered India to the 250-run mark, something that looked like an impossible target to achieve after the initial blows.

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But in his desire to keep the pace going Pujara ended up getting run out while trying to steal a quick single. Pujara departed to 123 and that brought an end to the proceedings on Day 1.

Pujara has now been dismissed run out 4 times in 2018, which is the most for any batsman this year. This is also the most number of times an Indian batsman has been run out in a year and the joint-most overall along with former Australian captain Bill Lawry, who had set this unwanted record in the year 1964.

Also watch: 1st Test: Former players criticise India for dismal show

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(Video provided by ESPNcricinfo)

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