Cheteshwar Pujara getting his on his shoulder during Brisbane Test | PATRICK HAMILTON / AF
Cheteshwar Pujara getting his on his shoulder during Brisbane Test | PATRICK HAMILTON / AF

Cheteshwar Pujara dug deep and showed immense courage in countering Australia’s bowling attack on the final day of The Gabba Test in Brisbane. Shubman Gill (91), Rishabh Pant (89*), and Cheteshwar Pujara (56) handed Australia their first defeat at Gabba in 32 years.

Bruised and battered but still standing tall, the Indian team was unbowed to the end as they pulled off one of the most memorable wins in the history of Test cricket last year. India scripted history by chasing down a target of 328 at the Gabba in the final minutes of their riveting four-match Test series versus Australia.

A seven-wicket win, which was achieved with just 17 balls to spare, saw India retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a second consecutive series win in Australia after 2018-19.  The last time Australia lost at the venue was against West Indies in 1988. The hosts were unbeaten for as many as 31 Test matches before India breached the fortress, with Rishabh Pant scoring an unbeaten 89 off 138 balls and Shubman Gill scoring an elegant 91.

Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)
Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Cheteshwar Pujara thinks Body Blows At Gabba Test Motivated Him To Do Better

Cheteshwar Pujara, the team’s most experienced batter in that Test, endured ‘unbearable’ body blows in Brisbane as the Australians decided to pepper him with short deliveries. The Test specialist, who notched up a resilient 56 runs off 211 deliveries, revealed how he had a chat with the physio but refused to take painkillers.

“I think it (body blows) motivated me to do better. Yes, I was in a bit of pain during the first two blows. When I was stuck 2-3 times more at the same spot, the pain was more. At one point I was hit in my fingers, it was unbearable. It was unbearable. I had a chat with physio and he asked If I want to take painkillers. I refused because I do not take medicines during the game because it disturbs my concentration sometimes,” said Pujara.

Cheteshwar Pujara- DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP
Cheteshwar Pujara- DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP

“So I just told myself that I am being hit on my body, but my focus to draw the game or win it for my country. My focus was to ensure that we do not lose too many wickets during the first two sessions, during the final day of the game,” he further added.

The Saurashtra batsman scored a match-winning half-century but that innings will be best remembered for the 14 blows he took on his body.

Cheteshwar Pujara Opens Up On The Important Partnership With Rishabh Pant In The 3rd Test At Sydney

Cheteshwar Pujara also spoke about the partnership he built with Rishabh Pant during the third Test in Sydney. The 146-run stand helped India earn a draw.

“We (Pant and Pujara) were under pressure and we had to make sure we do not lose too many wickets at that stage and have a few more runs at the board to make pressure on the bowlers. When you are chasing 400-plus, it is not easy. What we tried was to build a partnership and think of things we could control, which was to play one session at a time, one hour at a time,” said the 34-year-old batter.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

Cheteshwar Pujara said that he was playing his own game and trying to go for his shots after getting settled. Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, was his usual self.

“So it was an important partnership between us, followed by what Ashwin and Vihari did to save the game for us,” he added.

With 97 overs to survive in the day and eight wickets in hand, India scraped through under immense pressure led by the partnership between Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin that lasted 42.4 overs for 62 runs, to keep the series level on 1-1.
Even though Rishabh Pant (97) and Cheteshwar Pujara (77) had set up India’s fight early in the day with a century stand that even gave the team a chance of a win initially, the highest praise will be kept for Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin for the character they showed.
The Test veteran for India, Cheteshwar Pujara, made his return to the national side against England in the rescheduled 5th Test after delivering stupendous performances for Sussex in the County Championship Division Two. Earlier he was dropped from the squad for the home test matches against Sri Lanka.