Former India opener Virender Sehwag lavished praise on Cheteshwar Pujara after the latter’s stunning century against Australia in the first Test at Adelaide.
Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first completely backfired as Australia pacers made light work of the visitors’ top-order. KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were back in the hut with just 15 runs on the board. 4 runs later, Pat Cummins sent back Virat Kohli to put Australia well on top. Ajinkya Rahane also failed to get going as India found themselves 4 down for just 41. At that stage, even 150-mark was looking like a distant dream.
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However, Cheteshwar Pujara struck a defiant century to rescue India.
Pujara and Rohit Sharma added 45 runs for the fifth wicket to stop the rot for a while. But Rohit departed at a precarious time and Pant also failed to provide much support to Pujara as the scoreboard read 127 for 6. However, the Saurashtra star held firm from one end and shared crucial stands with the tail-enders to reach his 16th Test century.
He added 62 runs with R Ashwin before Pat Cummins dismissed the latter for 25. Pujara and Ishant Sharma then took the score past the 200-run mark. The duo added 21 runs before Mitchell Starc cleaned up Sharma. At that stage, it looked like Pujara would run out of partners.
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However, a six and a four off Hazlewood took him to 99 before a couple helped him score a memorable century. It was his first ton in Australia. During the course of the knock, he also scored his 5000th Test run, thus becoming only the 12th Indian to achieve the feat.
His memorable knock, however, ended in a disappointing manner as he was run out for 123. But the crucial ton helped India recover and finish the day on a respectable 250 for 9.
Pujara has been receiving praise from all over for his heroic knock and Virender Sehwag also did his bit. The batting legend took to Twitter to hail Pujara, writing:
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Pujara was like a sage on this first day. Focussed, determined and gritty . A knock to remember @cheteshwar1 #IndvAus
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 6, 2018