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March 4, 2013
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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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