Cheteshwar Pujara, who is called the wall of the Indian cricket team, was praised by everyone for the way he showed his bravery during the tour of Australia earlier this year. Of course, Pujara did not play any big innings on that tour, but the way he took the dangerous balls of the Australian bowlers on his body and stayed on the wicket, Pujara’s reputation had increased.
However, after that tour, Pujara’s bad times started and he was neither able to score runs nor was able to stay on the wicket. Although he struggled to retain the wicket on a few occasions, that struggle did not last long. Due to this failure, he was constantly criticized and pressure was also increasing on him to do proper justice to his place in the team.
After all, Pujara himself answered the questions arising on him with his bat and scored a half-century while batting in a changed style on the third day of the third Test against England in Leeds on Friday. He completed his fifty off just 91 balls, which is his fastest fifty outside Asia. By the end of the third day’s play, he was playing 91 runs off 180 balls with the help of 15 fours, while captain Virat Kohli was supporting him with 45 runs. Due to this, India made 215 runs for two wickets in 80 overs.
India’s first innings was bundled out for 78, after which England scored a mammoth total of 432 runs in the first innings. Thus, India still need 139 runs to avoid an innings defeat. After losing the wicket of KL Rahul (8), India was handled by the partnership of Rohit Sharma and Pujara. Both did not let any wicket fall in the second session of the day. During this, Rohit completed his half-century in 125 balls by taking one run off Sam Curran. With this, the half-century partnership between him and Pujara was also completed.
Immediately after tea, Robinson ended his innings by dismissing Rohit lbw. Pujara had scored a half-century against England in the home series after returning from the tour of Australia, but since then he has not been able to score a half-century in 12 consecutive innings. During this his only memorable innings came in the Lord’s Test of the current series when he scored 206 runs in the second innings. This innings played an important role in India’s victory at Lord’s.
When Pujara was dismissed for just one run in the first innings at Leeds, questions were raised again. But, in the second innings, he responded with a quick bat and scored a half-century in 91 balls. Earlier in the morning, England extended their first innings at 423 for eight and lost the remaining two wickets adding nine runs. Mohammed Shami dismissed Overton (32) lbw, while Jasprit Bumrah bowled Robinson (0) to end England’s innings.