New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Ace Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has revealed that during the second Test of the four-match home series against Australia in 2017, the visitors were a “little ahead of what they wanted to achieve and felt they had already won the game”, which they eventually went on to lose.
In the first Test, India had to face a humiliating 333-run defeat in Pune and were already on the backfoot.
“For me I think the first Test match… when we lost, all of us sat together and had a chat. In a 4-Test series, it’s always difficult to make a comeback after being 1-0 down,” Pujara said while speaking to Ashwin during an Instagram Live session on Wednesday.
In the second Test also, India were bowled out cheaply in the first innings in Bengaluru in which Pujara, who came out to bat at No. 3, contributed with mere 17. Australia took a healthy 87-run lead and looked on course to register a win in the Test match.
“In the 1st innings (Bengaluru Test), we didn’t bat well. So when I was walking into it, I felt a lot of pressure. But after the 1st innings, Anil bhai (Kumble) had a chat with me on how to tackle Nathan Lyon. I went to the NCA and worked on a few things which helped me.
However, it was then that Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane shared a brilliant century stand in the second innings to help India come out of troubled waters. While Pujara scored 92, Rahane contributed with 52 and helped India set a 187-run target.
“But I felt pressure when I walked into bat (2nd innings). The kind of sledging they did… I thought they were a little ahead of what they wanted to achieve. Their thought process was… they felt they had already won the game,” Pujara said.
“By Tea time, I was with Ajinkya (Rahane), we were coming into the dressing room and they were sledging as if they had won the game. That is when things did turn around, I felt,” he added.
Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin then wreaked havoc and picked 6/41 as Australia were bundled out for mere 112 and lost the match by 75 runs.
The third match ended in a draw in Ranchi while the host won the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala by eight wickets, thus clinching the series 2-1.