England staged a fantastic comeback in the ongoing fourth Test in Southampton. Moeen Ali has wrecked the visitors with regular strikes who were looking comfortable at one stage. But Cheteshwar Pujara was unperturbed. He looked solid right from the word go and once again showed his class on a wearing pitch. In the process, India’s number three brought up his 15th Test century which should go down as one of his best overseas knocks.
Pujara came out to bat after KL Rahul was trapped in front of the stumps by Stuart Broad. He took his own time to get settled and played out back-to-back dot balls. There was a phase when literally no runs came but he didn’t make any mistake and kept waiting for a bad ball to arrive. He got an able partner in Virat Kohli as well with the run-scoring increasing.
The duo added 92 runs for the third wicket and kept the team ahead. England were trying hard but Pujara was adamant on digging it down this time around. They tried to bounce him out as well but India’s new wall didn’t play a hook shot and kept his composure. But Kohli’s wicket turned things around dramatically.
Pujara keeps his cool amidst the collapse
India collapsed suddenly after the tea break and it looked like they will finish well short of England’s score. But Cheteshwar Pujara was undone yet. At 195/8, he joined hands with Ishant Sharma and they stitched 32 runs for the ninth wicket. But the lanky Indian was dismissed by Moeen Ali with his partner at 96 and the doubts lingered over his century.
But Pujara was all about team first and made sure that he farmed more strike despite a hundred there for the taking. Finally, he stepped out and played a lofted shot over Ali’s head and ran a couple to celebrate his first overseas ton in last five years. The crowd and his teammates stood up in applause as he soaked in every bit of it. Even Twitterati hailed him for a steely knock and wanted him to score more.