Bengaluru [India], Mar.5 (ANI): India's top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Sunday insisted his side are still very much in the game despite conceding a 48-run lead by the end of the second day of the second Test against Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here.
On Day Two, opener Matt Renshaw and Shaun Marsh pushed India on back foot as they scored well-constructed half centuries to reach 237-6 at stumps.
Despite Australia taking control of the second Test, Pujara believes his side are far from finished in the ongoing game while adding that there immediate goal is to grab the remaining wickets and put up a good second-innings total.
"I don't think so. We are very much in the game and we know that they have to bat fourth. Probably once we have some runs on the board. We have already seen that the ball is keeping little low. So, obviously they will have to bat fourth. If we put up good total. We will look get four wickets first. And once we get that we have to bat well and put up a decent total on the board," Pujara said in a post-match conference.
Earlier, Nathan Lyon took eight wickets for 50 runs, his career best figures, to help Australia bundle out India for 189 in their first innings on Saturday.
In spite of being outwitted by the Australian spinner in the first innings as well as in Pune Test, Pujara felt that there is nothing wrong with the Indian batting line-up.
"I think the most important thing was we did not get a partnership. We kept on losing the wickets. I think there is nothing wrong with the Indian batting lineup. We are known to play well against spinners and we have been batting well, apart from last three innings. We just have to have a game-plan. We will have a different game plan in the second innings. We have to accept that we didn't bat well in the last three innings. But we will put up a better show in the next one," Pujara said.
For India, Ravindra Jadeja bagged the highest wickets as he finished the day with the figures of three for 49.
Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin all chipped in with a wicket each.
And Pujara admitted that the bowlers did a pretty well job, adding that his side will now look to bowl out Australia inside 300.
"Throughout the day we bowled really well, especially our fast bowlers. It was not easy for the fast bowlers as odd ball was staying low. They have put in a lot of hard work. Spinners did very well. You can see the run-rate; they were not able to score many runs. In a way it was victory for us. We bowled tight lines, even the lengths were very good from the fast bowlers. All in all, we bowled well but at the same time we got just six wickets. However, they have not scored many runs," Pujara said.
"If we can get them out in another 30-40 odds runs, but you never know. We will focus on bowling right line and length and wickets will come for spinners and fast bowlers if we continue bowling the way we have bowled. Probably, bowlers will have some different plan tomorrow. We will obviously think about what we could have done better. Our bowlers have bowled every well. We would try to restrict them in another 30-40 runs," he added.
When quizzed if India's lacklustre performance was due to the long season of Test cricket they have been through, Pujara disagreed and said that there were enough breaks in between.
The 29-year-old further expressed confidence that India would bounce back in this particular Test match and in the series.
"I think we have got enough breaks in between. I don't think it was a long season. We enjoyed this particular season because we have won so many matches, apart from losing the last game. This team is strong and I definitely feel we will come back stronger in this particular Test match and in the series.We are still together. We are still enjoying this game. The kind of success we had in the last year, and part of this year, we want to produce more good results and forget the last Test match. I am confident that we will come back in this Test match," Pujara said. (ANI)