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Cheteshwar Pujara bags a huge record against Australia in the first Test

December 18, 2020

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Although Cheteshwar Pujara missed his fifty, his fearless innings was one of the main reasons the visitors fought through the first session. His innings recovered India from the early loss of Shaw on Day 1 of the day-night Test match against Australia.

Pujara scored 43 runs off 160 balls. The 32-year-old also registered a record to his name. He surpassed Joe Root to face most deliveries against Australia in the last ten years in Test cricket.

Since January 2011, Pujara has faced 3609 balls against the Australian team. He went past England skipper Joe Root who has faced 3607 deliveries. Pujara has so far played 16 Tests against Australia. He batted in 28 innings to achieve this milestone. On the other hand, the England batsman, Root has played 46 innings.

Virat Kohli is in the third position on the list. He has faced 3183 balls against Australia in 35 innings. Talking about other players, Alastair Cook and AB de Villiers have played 3122 and 2300 balls respectively. Pujara put up a crucial 68-run stand with Kohli before getting out by off-spinner Lyon in the second session. Kohli who batted wisely scored 74 runs off 180 deliveries.

Starc took the wicket of the out-of-form Shaw with the second delivery of the day. However, Pat Cummins also castled the other opener, Mayank Agarwal, later. With this Australia’s pace bowlers gave the side a strong start to the four-match series.

The 2018-19 Test series win in Australia will be remembered for Cheteshwar Pujara

Pujara was the reason for Australia’s downfall when India won their first series in Australia in 2018. He proved more difficult to dislodge and had pulled off 43 runs from 160 deliveries before giving his wicket to Lyon. The 32-year-old had smashed the first two boundaries off consecutive deliveries from Lyon.

Marnus Labuschagne took the catch but the hosts needed to review the decision to remove Pujara finally. He scored 123 and 71 runs respectively to lead his side to victory in the corresponding Test back in 2018.

Kohli, who won the toss and chose to bat, will be eager to make his mark in the ongoing series. It will be his only Test before he returns to India for the birth of his first child. India’s finest Test batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara has featured in 77 Tests to date and accumulated 5840 runs.

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