India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 2nd day November 16, 2012

England look fragile - Pujara

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cheteshwar Pujara batted for 513 minutes for his unbeaten 206, which took England's ordeal in the field to 640 minutes, following which he saw England lose three wickets in a little over an hour. That has given him enough confidence to believe the match might not need to go into the fifth day.

"It's going to be a challenging task for them," Pujara said when asked if he thought England could come back from here. "The way they were batting it looked like they were a fragile batting line-up for sure."

The three England wickets have made everyone look at the pitch in a different light. "I think there's quite a lot of rough on the wicket and it's turning quite big," Pujara said. "The kind of momentum we got in these 18 overs I think we can bowl them out tomorrow. Obviously we'd like to finish the game before five days."

After the first day Virender Sehwag had said the pitch was easy to bat on if you didn't play your shots. Pujara had a different take. "There is nothing wrong with the wicket," he said. "We've got three wickets, the ball is turning. We have utilised the conditions better than them."

Even before the series began, Pujara had said he was comfortable against the England bowling. His quiet confidence only restated that belief. "I'd like to mention that it was good that I got out on 87 in the practice game," Pujara said. "If I had ended up scoring a hundred, I wouldn't have had the same motivation to score a hundred and then turn it into a double-hundred in this game.

"I was comfortable facing all the bowlers. Initially my concern was Graeme Swann because I hadn't faced him before. But after I faced a couple of overs against him, I felt that I could manage."

The result was his maiden double-century in Tests, but also Pujara's ninth 150-plus score of the 16 times he has reached 100 in first-class cricket. Nine of those 150-plus scores have come in his last 10 first-class centuries. He sounded proud of that habit.

"I've done the same thing in domestic cricket," he said. "I never like to get out. There's always a price on my wicket. Even after scoring a double-hundred I never wanted to give away my wicket. That's the reason why I'm able to score big runs."

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  • narsimha on November 17, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    HAMMOND -Same goes to u r batsmen also , our greats performed in ENG, AUS in erlier topurs they still enjoy better ave, in u r place than u r greats in IND SACHIN, DRAVID , AVE 50+ & OTHERS 40Ss, on this very pitch we scored 500+ this pitch is same to both the teams it is not that poms are offered a defent pitch ,we were subjected to all sorts of abuses during our horible topurs to ENG, AUS , our greats who won matches in AUS, ENG in erlier tours were brande as wothless , no body talked on the state of the pitch than, why now u r out here to demean our grand show by blaming pitch accept u r players are as bad as we were in u r place during our last tour.

  • narsimha on November 17, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    i cant understand the logic behind criticising hiom, just go through what SWAAN HAVE BEEN SAYING & what ANDERSON said on SACHIN ,WASIMH& others he is entitaled to say on TEAM BEHALF i know u r problem u dont have hal;f the talented player in u team thats why this frutration .

  • Srinivas on November 17, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    @Pras_Punter, wonder why the English imploded on these flat, bowler unfriendly, easy to bat on tracks. Shame! Sire, breaking news for you - spinners are bowlers too! Pace unfriendly track doesn't necessarily mean bowler unfriendly track. Sour grapes Sire!

  • Abhishek on November 17, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @shashika Guruge- This is no trash talking. At the most its playing on your opponents minds and you can afford to do that if you've scored an unbeaten double century and then saw 3 wickets falling down for barely 40 odd runs!

  • Srinivas on November 17, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    What do you expect him to say? That England is playing beautifully. After all, he is a test match player and if you and I can say that England is playing poorly, I only wonder why do people think Pujar didn't earn the right to give an opinion based on what he observed from close quarters. You don't want him to look like a fool by praising the English batsmen. Do you? And the English did implode. Didn't they?

  • Shakti on November 17, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @gzawilliam.Why are the Indians 'flat track bullies'?Why were Jacques Kallis,Hashim Amla,Michael Clarke,Ed Cowan & Mike Hussey not called 'flat track bullies' at Brisbane?A spinning dry & crumbling surface isn't flat!This surface was better to bat on on the first day but it isn't flat.'Flat track bullies' are found in Sri Lanka.The SSC is in Sri Lanka & not India.

  • Dummy4 on November 17, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @Pras_Punter : U mean to say the poms scored 151/8 in bowler unfriendly conditions? Kudos to the batting strength of the pommies, mate. Do you spin bowling is some trick played by aliens in Mars?

  • Prasanna on November 17, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    How many runs has this guy scored in bowler-friendly conditions ? Appears to be another flat-track bully. Well, flat tracks , mediocre batsmen scoring lots of runs, rank-turners tailor-made to suit the "great" bowlers - india has truely arrived !!

  • Kapil on November 17, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @Chandra S Yanglalasetty - completely 100% agree with you. I think it just has to do with the superiority complex of the English which is further reinforced by the inferiority complex of older Indians. The new young Indian generation is just baffled by these double standards and when we voice our concerns, the older generation just keeps calling us brash rather than actually listening to our point of view...

  • V.L on November 17, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    @gzawilliam From your post its very clear you are clueless about what you have posted. I would very much like you to describe the term "flat-track" for me. Last I checked flat-track is one which does not have anything in it for bowlers. You see both the teams scoring in excess of 500 and the game ending in a tame draw. This is what you call a turning track. Picking one spinner on this wicket is bluntly put, a very stupid decision. England are 101-7 as I am typing this and will be bowled out under 200. It would be a miracle if they manage to strech this game till lunch tomorrow. As for fast bowlers not having anything in it, it took Yadav just two overs to pick a wicket and Zaheer bowled very well. England were just out classed, just as we thumped the Aussies last two times they came here. If winning in home fast-tracks is good, then so is winning on turning tracks. Both are very different kind of challenges, but the ARE challenges nonetheless! 4-0 paybacks to Eng, Aus coming up!

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