“Pujara was like a sage on this first day. Focussed, determined and gritty.”
Virender Sehwag’s tweet at the end of Day 1 of India’s first Test against Australia, was perhaps most appropriate. Amidst a crumbling Indian batting-line, the No. 3 batsman remained at the crease through the opening day, smashing his 16th century in Test cricket. Also his maiden century in Australia, Pujara pulled India out of a deep hole to a respectable 250 for nine at stumps on Thursday, 6 December.
The 30-year-old showed grit and gumption en route a 246-ball 123 that kept India in the game after being reduced to 127 for six in the 50th over.
It took a brilliant direct from Pat Cummins to remove him on what happened to be the final ball of an absorbing day one of the four-Test series.
Besides former Indian cricketer Sehwag, other players and experts in the field also lauded Pujara’s performance on the opening day.
It was a gritty innings from @cheteshwar1 under the circumstances. Congratulations to you on your brilliant century. Looking forward to many more knocks like this in the series. #AUSvIND #FightOfMight pic.twitter.com/MwhPN8BGW3— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 6, 2018
Sterling century by @cheteshwar1, among the best he’s played as also among the best by an Indian batsman in Australia. Heavy duty concentration, application and commitment in stark contrast to the airy-fairy profligacy of the others. Kudos! #PujaraCentury #IndiavsAus— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) December 6, 2018
Wonderful wonderful innings from Cheteshwar Pujara. Classy, resilient, tenacious....all these old-world virtues. This was the gold standard of test match batting.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 6, 2018
Like in Southampton when he got a 100, Pujara attacks only when he starts running out of partners. While others attack on instinct and out of insecurity. Well played Pujara. ???#MindOverMatter— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) December 6, 2018
Australia’s day. Bowlers were good in hot conditions. But that was a serious test match knock from pujara. Patience,application,discipline and mental toughness. Soaked up the pressure early and cash in at the end of the day. Good test match cricket.— John Hastings (@johnhastings194) December 6, 2018
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