India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 3rd day March 4, 2013

Tough spin test awaits Australia - Pujara

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia are in for a tough test against spin on the fourth day, double-centurion Cheteshwar Pujara has said. Pujara reached his second double-century in Tests, was involved in a triple-century stand with M Vijay, before R Ashwin picked up two wickets in Australia's second innings with India still leading by 192.

"They need to apply themselves," Pujara said after the third day's play. "They don't know how to go about on turning tracks. They have prepared, we know what their strengths are and are trying to find their weaknesses. I think our spinners have been doing it successfully and they need to continue what they are doing.

Only one wicket fell on the second day; on the third there were 11. "It's turning a little more and the odd ball is jumping," Pujara said.

Australia didn't pick Nathan Lyon for this Test; Pujara said he was comfortable facing him as well as other Australian spinners, including Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty. "I think he went for lots of runs, that's why they made the change. I have batted well against [Graeme] Swann and [Monty] Panesar in the past, which helped me play against Australian spinners."

Pujara batted for almost seven hours and was seen limping for a good part of his innings due to a hamstring injury. "I pulled my hamstring and yesterday in the first session it was very difficult for me to run and even focus on my batting. When my hamstring was sore, I just wanted to hang around and let the time go by and afterwards I was much better and could concentrate on my batting. The injury is settling down and I hope I will be better."

Pujara fell trying to hook James Pattinson when on 204, being caught at fine leg. It was a shot he was still working on, he said. "I think it's a scoring opportunity but you need to play the shot at the right height. The ones which are above the shoulder I need to leave those balls. I still need to learn that shot and I will be working on it for sure."

A knee injury, for which he had to undergo a surgery, sidelined Pujara for a good part of 2011 and the start of 2012. "Injuries have taught me a lot," he said. "It motivates you to work hard on your game and even on fitness as well."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Devika on March 5, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    The combined Aus total is not upto one solid Indian partnership. Time for serious thinking. Where is patience in Aus batters?

  • Mark on March 5, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @ 28041991. Regarding Indians skill set on flat crumbley wickets compared to traditional pitches they are currently excellent compared to Australia. Australia skill set adapt very well to various pitches. If you bother to look through ICC Test history rankings. Since 2003 Australia has rated as the No.1 test Team for 74 months. While India rated No.1 test team for 21 months. You talk about failure. Indian cricket has failed by creating a bubble. They leave flat crumbley pitches their skill set fails.

  • Joe on March 5, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    So, @28041991, have you actually bothered to check the performances of India and Australia abroad of late? Australia haven't lost a test series abroad for about 3 years. You are clutching at straws, my friend. And only 3 players in this team have played test cricket in India before, so saying they don't have a good record there is a bit silly. Shall I tell you why Australia does poorly regularly only in India, & why India does so poorly abroad almost everywhere? Hint: it's something to do with that thing in the middle of the field. Your admin and captain prefer easy, short-term, face-saving wins to long term results. It's a bit like IPL: instant gratification, not a lot of thinking going on. And that's what you are getting here. If India was interested in improving it's test cricket players for the future, it would vary the conditions of its pitches. But no, that would risk its shortcomings being exposed to the public - especially Dhoni's. So it's just one size (and colour) fits all.

  • Isildur on March 5, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    @Blokey: Well then I suppose we need to get some home conditions to make you guys comfortable then. If people have brains in the right place, I don't think they are using different pitches. Both teams played on the same pitch, and unless that is unfair to make your feelings soothe, please play school cricket.

    India could bat only 1 innings and that is enough for this series for the Australians to catch up. NICE THRASHING GOING ON now.

  • vishwas on March 5, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    @Blokey right away started whinning.....if these pitches didnt have anything in it for every one how come the medicore bowler ( atleast according to you ) bhuvaneshwar kumar got 3 wicket , and that too of your top order who is well established batsmen of swing and seam....easy to give excuses.... tough to accept the reality...

  • Sammy on March 5, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    The Aussie team could not even score the runs what Pujara scored by himself...the modern day Bradman aka Hughes (as per the aussie fans) had an off day. Haha..

  • subhalkar on March 5, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    @mzm149, Sir Pujara cannot be Vinod Kambli.In terms of talent may be yes but in other things Pujara can be much like Dravid.Pujara if lucky to maintain his fitness can serve India long and can play equal role in both ODI's and Tests. Once he adjusted his technique in SA for fast and seaming wickets he can be very important member of Indian team.He should try to play county cricket at least for two seasons and I am sure, being the learner he is he can be a better batsman on any surface facing any bowling.All our prospective players should try this instead of killing their technique in IPL.Even if they lose money for two seasons they can get more after their stint with County Cricket as they will be better players with superior skills and command higher price.

  • Joe on March 5, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Easy to be confident on rolled mud. This track made Maxwell and Doherty look good by the third day. It's really saying something when they can take 7-90 between them during that period. The reality is that the ball is bouncing and spinning everywhere. These are really tough batting conditions. Not much a batsman can do, really. The Indians weren't up for it after the first two wickets fell (against a T20 dart thrower and an ODI specialist), so we shouldn't be too surprised if the Australian batsmen aren't either. Remember, this Indian team were thrashed 4-0 on much fairer tracks in Australia not that long ago, tracks that had a bit in for everyone. I'm afraid we cannot say the same about the tracks that have been presented here, and very deliberately so.

  • vishwas on March 5, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    @Int.Curator perhaps you should have a look at stats.... most of the indian batsmen did well in aus... remember dravid, sachin , lax, ganguly... they have all better record in aus than most of aus players.... and in contrast not even a single player from ausie have good record in INDIA.... this shows the quality of cricket among indian and aus team..... indians can adjust and play everywhere, ya that quality has come from these so called flat and crumbly pitches..... and what happens with the players who likes to play on so called great pitches ???? they fail miserably in sub continent.....

  • A on March 5, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    @ Int.Curator Ironically, the same applies to Aussies cricket as well but in a different way. And I won't agree to your claim that Indian cricketers make 'adequate bowling spinners'.

  • No featured comments at the moment.