Cricket

Pujara 181* keeps Australia grinding


INDIA TOUR OF AUSTRALIA, 2018-19

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Pujara went past 500 runs in the series. © Getty

Australia bowled better on the second morning but were unable to dislodge Cheteshwar Pujara, who went past 500 runs in the series and is batting not out on 181 at Lunch on Day 2, looking set for many more. Australia’s only success came in the form of Hanuma Vihari’s wicket to Nathan Lyon, as India added 86 runs in 27 overs this session.

Lack of runs through cover was a standout in Pujara’s wagon wheel, and the fact that he started with a cover drive this morning was a testament to his intent as much as it was an evidence of Australia’s revised bowling plan to him. But Pujara being Pujara found a way past it, driving Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood and Lyon through covers to bring up his highest score away from home.

Australia bowled better and fuller to Hanuma Vihari as well. Although Vihari managed to play and miss a few, he was largely solid before he decided to take Lyon on with a sweep and perished on 42 after a 101-run stand with Pujara. It also lost India a review, although both Lyon and Vihari seemed to think that it’s come off the shoulder. A very faint line on the snickometer, in the absence of anything on HotSpot, controversially proved otherwise and the on-field decision stayed.

The score was 329 for 5 when Vihari fell but Rishabh Pant’s batting will give Pujara a whole lot of confidence. The young wicketkeeper wasn’t going on an all-out attack, as we have often seen him do. He got off the mark with a classical cover drive and seemed to have brought the forward defence with him onto the field today. There was a review against him, when he tried to drive Lyon on the up and missed the ball by a whisker. Tim Paine thought otherwise and that’s how Australia lost both their reviews.

Brief Scores: India 389/5 (Pujara 181*, Agarwal 77, Vihari 42, Pant 27*; Hazlewood 2-65, Lyon 2-116) vs Australia.

© Cricbuzz

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