India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 5th day October 13, 2010

Found out this morning I was batting at No. 3 - Pujara

ESPNcricinfo staff

India were looking to Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid to play the starring role in the chase of 207 but it was the debutant Cheteshwar Pujara who made the most significant contribution in securing the 2-0 series victory against Australia. Pujara batted at No. 3, displacing Rahul Dravid from a spot he has owned for over a decade, and said after the game that he learnt of the promotion only on the morning of the fifth day.

He walked in when Virender Sehwag was dismissed for 7 and began his second innings positively, despite having been dismissed lbw for 4 in the first innings by one that kept low from Mitchell Johnson. "Obviously I was a bit nervous," he told Neo Sports after the game. "I told myself I wanted to be in the present. I had practiced enough and if I looked at each and every ball, each and every over, then there is no pressure."

Pujara's approach was assured and he scored briskly at more than a run-a-ball, forcing Australia to re-evaluate their plan of attack. "If you see the wicket, it's a lot easier to bat with the new ball than when the ball starts reversing a bit," Pujara said. "Australia were trying to get some wickets early on. They were trying to attack but also trying to defend. They didn't know what they were trying to do."

The second-wicket partnership of 72 between Pujara and M Vijay put the game beyond Australia's reach and Pujara credited his success to his extensive experience on India's domestic circuit, where he has been a consistently prolific run-scorer.

"Definitely, I was successful because of all the runs I've scored in domestic cricket. I had enough experience so that helped me a lot. I was sure of their plans so I knew what shots I could play."

After his association with Vijay, Pujara added 57 runs with Sachin Tendulkar for the third wicket before missing a straight delivery from Nathan Hauritz. Pujara spoke of the advice Tendulkar had given him when they had batted together in the first innings: "He told me that 'you might be nervous, just enjoy it, don't try and overcome it, it will go away when you spend a few minutes at the crease."

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  • Dummy4 on October 14, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    Great to see Young Guns firing. I am sure, we will retain by No.1 for next couple of years for sure.

  • prashant on October 14, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Very well done CP.....dont try to change urself, just be what u r

  • Abhi on October 14, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    I hope Pujara succeeds. I like this guy. He has been very focused and patient. His life has been tragic - he lost his mother when he was in his teens. I hope he gets his chances and is able to capitalize on them.

  • Dummy4 on October 14, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    Hey guys, stop talking Dravid's future,he is irreplaceable,nobody has proved yet to take up his position,Pujara is a good,classy player,i was always wished to see him in Indian Test Team,but,i don't want to jump like a boy and says that he can occupy Dravid's place,let him have some experience under the stalwarts like Dravid,Tendulkar and Laxman,then,when time comes,Dravid will automatically say good bye,let's give him a decent outing yaar..we didn't give that in One Days,atleast in Test,think guys before say something about Dravid

  • Dummy4 on October 14, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    Why is everybody saying Dravid's positions in danger!! We have yet got replcament of Ganguly, even after 3 years..!! Yujvi failed, Raina is not good either, That place is up for grabs,now enters Pujara...

  • Summer on October 14, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    @ Abdul Enqyoob.... Chill mate. We know Pakistani fans like you have started calling every match as fixed just to show your frustration. Don't worry, everything will be alright with the passage of time in Pakistan Cricket. There was nothing wrong sending Pujara @ No. 3. In fact, it was a smart move by Indian think tank. It served two purposes. First: He got his opportunity to show the selectors the he indeed is a Test Match material. Second: While chasing 200+ target against a team like Australia that too on a 5th day pitch that too without VVS Laxman, you needed an experienced batsman like Dravid down the order if the top-order fails. But thankfully Pujara scored runs when it really mattered, and Sachin & Dravid made sure that they finish the job.

  • Stud on October 14, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    Well done Pujara. Common sense, Dravid doesn't need match practice. He was saved for older ball overs to counter the reverse swing which has troubled batsmen of both sides in this match. Pujara did a fantastic job with his opportunity and left little for Tendulkar/Dravd. All saying Dravid displaced, try to keep your feet on the ground. There were similar talks about Sehwag displacing Tendulkar during Sehwag's early career. Grow up.

  • David on October 14, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    Congratulations to India on a great win and to Sachin Tendulkar for another stellar performance. He must now be recognized as the best batsman since Bradman. I think the novice Pujara has summed up Ponting's captaincy really well - he doesn't know what he wants to do. Ponting has been a great batsman, but his best days are behind him. As a captain he has always relied on a group of champions performing well, rather than on tactical expertise. As we Aussies put it: "Blind Freddy' could lead a team to get wickets with Warne and McGrath bowling. Now that Ponting's men are mere mortals, his inadequacies as a captain are being exposed. It is time for Australia to install a new Captain, but I'm not sure who would be best.

  • Rahul on October 14, 2010, 3:02 GMT

    Cheteshwar Pujara.. welcome to International Cricket. He's shown promise and in the next year or so he should get more opportunities to do more in Test Cricket. Are Dravid's days in Test Cricket over? Not yet one would say. But he does not seem to enjoy his stay in the middle. He has to learn from the great Sachin on how to enjoy his batting.. Pls Rahul bhai.. bat with gay abandon and just enjoy ur batting.... Good luck to Dravid and Pujara... and well done India... Australia... do well in the Ashes :)

  • jack on October 14, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    cont. should start in SA but wouldb be greatly increase by being in oneday squad and test squad (to play in practice matches.) on another not the likes of rohit sharma who constantly underpreform not only at international e=level but domestically as well should be droped from one day squad, he has too earn his place which he has held onto to easily for too long

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