Cheteshwar Pujara returned the confidence the selectors placed in him by hitting a decisive and crucial 2nd inning fifty on Day 3 of the rescheduled 5th Test against England at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Pujara remained unbeaten by 50 runs and sewn up an unbeaten 50 run position with Rishabh Pant for the partnership at the 4th wicket as India finished with a 257 run lead.
Cheteshwar Pujara reached his fifty in 139 balls, bringing back memories of the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy as he formed a good partnership with Rishabh Pant, who curbed his attacking instincts and played the situation, remaining unbeaten on 30 balls from 46. to follow his dashing first innings 146 (111 balls).
England vs India, Day 5 Test 3: Report | Strong points
Pujara took shots to the body and handled uneven rebounds in his typical style as he frustrated the England attack with his solid stick in the final session on Sunday June 3.
Notably, Pujara has reached over 3 fifty scores in the current 5-game Pataudi Trophy and all of them have come in 2nd leg for India.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who opened the innings in the rescheduled 5th Test in the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, lost his opening partner KL Rahul in the very first against James Anderson. However, he survived a probing spell with the new ball from Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matty Potts and stitched up a 39-point partnership with Hanuma Vihari, who took his No.3 spot in the XI.
Pujara joined Kohli after Stuart Broad took out Vihari and sewed up a 32-point stand, but Ben Stokes brought the former India captain out with an unplayable delivery.
Pujara, however, held his fort and made sure India didn’t lose another wicket as they headed to close the game at 125 for 3.
DELIVERED AT HOME, DELIVERED ABROAD
Pujara was dropped after an ordinary series in South Africa earlier this year with former vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Pujara scored 124 runs in six innings in Rainbow Nation averaging 20.66.
The veteran batsman was left out of the home Tests against Sri Lanka in February.
However, Pujara knocked on the selectors’ door again after scoring heavily for Sussex in the County Championships. The Saurashtra hitter, who had scored 191 runs in 5 innings in the Ranji Trophy, had hit four scores over 100, including two double hundreds, in five County Championship Division Two games.