Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has compared Ranchi Test hero Cheteshwar Pujara with the legendary Rahul Dravid, saying India’s current No. 3 has a lot of similarities to India’s ‘Wall’.
The Saurashtra star played a marathon innings in the penultimate Test of the four-match series, scoring a stunning double century off 525 balls. The knock not only bailed India out of a precarious position but also gave them a chance to register an unlikely win. India were reeling at 328/6 in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 451 but Pujara added 199 runs with Wriddhiman Saha that helped the hosts post a massive 603/9.
“Cheteshwar Pujara has a lot of similarities to Rahul Dravid, ‘The Wall’. Had it not been for his double hundred, India would have lost the Ranchi Test. He is definitely India’s wall. He builds the innings and others play around him,” Clarke told India Today.
Clarke further talked about the presence of Virat Kohli on the field during the last two days of the Test. The India skipper could not take the field during the second and third day after sustaining a shoulder injury on the opening day of the match.
“It was very important for Virat Kohli to be on the field. He did everything to be on the park because he knows how important that is. I am sure he’ll be 100 percent fit for the final Test in Dharamsala,” Clarke added.
The visitors were staring down the barrel in the opening session of the final day when their skipper Steven Smith misjudged a Ravindra Jadeja delivery and it went on to disturb his timbers. But fighting half-centuries from Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb helped the team from Down Under salvage a draw.
“It looked to be Steve Smith – don’t think he could believe the ball missed his pad and hit the stumps. His 178 was exceptional under these conditions. The positive for Australia was that Smith was not the one who had to stand up. Marsh and Handscomb batted very well.
“Great sign for this young Australian team. They will take a lot of confidence from this draw into the next Test match. We saw the other side of the coin today. The wicket was very good to bat on and once you got in, it was difficult to be dismissed. Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh batted exceptionally well,” Clarke concluded.