India beat Australia by 31 runs to win the Adelaide Test on Monday and a lot of the credit for the victory would go to one visiting team member - Cheteshwar Pujara. After rescuing India’s first innings, the test specialist returned in the second innings to forge a solid 87-run fourth wicket partnership with Ajinkya Rahane.
Declared the Man of the Match after the win, Pujara, who had scored just 201 runs in six innings in India’s previous tour of Australia, said the experience from the 2014-15 tour had helped him step up for the team this time round.
"“I think playing here before has helped me a lot. The most important thing for me was the preparation. When I was back home I knew what to expect from Australian pitches. I think playing some of their bowlers in the past has also helped me.”" - Cheteshwar Pujara
The Man of the Match of the Adelaide Test scored 123 in the first innings and has said it ranks among the top 5 knocks of his career. Pujara though also said the bowlers made an important contribution, with four of them managing to take 20 wickets in the match.
"“This one was special. I thought the way we came back in the game- we lost 4 wickets within 40 runs but made a comeback from there and managed to post 250, which was most important. Ultimately to win the match, the credit goes to the bowlers who got them out for below 250. To get the 15-run lead in the first innings was a psychological advantage that helped us in the second innings.”" - Cheteshwar Pujara
Having started playing cricket at the age of 8 under his father’s guidance, Pujara also took time out to thank his mentor for believing in him.
"“It means a lot, he started coaching me when I was just 8-years-old and he is very passionate about the game. He will be a proud father today. He believed in me more than I did. I would like to thank him for all his support throughout my career.”" - Cheteshwar Pujara
The second test gets underway on 14 December in Perth.
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