Pujara leads Indian resistance
Cheteshwar Pujara’s 114* helped India fightback to post 266/6 at Stumps on Day 1 of the second Test against England at Mumbai on Friday.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, India were in a spot of bother at 55/3 as Monty Panesar found great turn and bounce the pitch. Jimmy Anderson did the early damage with an inswinger to trap Gautam Gambhir LBW with the second ball of the match, leaving India at 4/1. Sehwag managed just 30 in his 100th Test before he was bowled by Panesar. The England slow left armer then bowled a beauty which pitched on leg, spun past Tendulkar’s defensive push and hit the top of off. 60/3.
Pujara and Kohli then began to control things, rebuilding the innings with singles and curbing their attacking instincts in a 58 run partnership for the fourth wicket. A tempting delivery from Panesar saw Kohli go for a drive but Nick Compton took an easy catch to send him back. Yuvraj Singh was bowled by Swann in the next over for a duck, leaving India at 119/5.
With Dhoni (29), Pujara took India to 167/5 at Tea. While other batsmen were visibly troubled by the amount of bounce and turn right from Day 1, Pujara was in complete control, batting away anything pitched in line and picking out anything loose in width. He edged one delivery from Panesar which Anderson barely missed at second slip when on 60 but gave England no more chances.
Dhoni’s dismissal when play resumed after Tea brought out R Ashwin, who made a Test hundred at the same venue against West Indies last year, to the middle. Ashwin was at ease against the pacers and played some well timed strokes. He even tackled the spinners well and regularly rotated the strike with Pujara.
There was a moment of doubt when Pujara was on 94 and went for a pull shot. The ball hit Cook at short leg and was deflected and caught at midwicket. Replays showed the ball hit the ground before hitting Cook’s toe.
Pujara reached 99 in singles from there before bringing up his second hundred in two Tests with a four. The new ball was taken but Ashwin struck boundaries off Broad and Anderson to make sure the third session belonged to India. Pujara played out a maiden over from Swann to bring up Stumps, India finishing the day on 266/6.
End of Day scores: Cheteshwar Pujara 114* (279b 4x10), R Ashwin 60* (84b 4x9), Monty Panesar 4/91