New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 3rd day February 16, 2014

India fielding 'fantastic' overall - Pujara

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'Overall the Indian fielding has been fantastic' - Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara has said that India did what they could with the ball but Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling batted superbly to deny them. McCullum was put down twice - on 9, by Virat Kohli and on 36, by Ishant Sharma - but Pujara maintained India's fielding had been "fantastic" and that the odd dropped catch was inevitable.

"Have to give credit to their batsmen," Pujara said. "Brendon batted well and that partnership was very crucial for them. We tried our best but they were the winners in that last session."

India had New Zealand down on 94 for 5 in the 38th over, but the bowlers failed to disturb the McCullum-Watling stand for the next 61 overs. The pitch was getting better for batting every day, Pujara felt, and said considering that, the Indian bowlers had performed well. "Our bowlers did a very good job and bowled in the right areas. They didn't allow them to score many runs, a good sign for us. Overall looking at the wicket they bowled really well. It is just that we didn't get as many wickets as we wanted but still we did a pretty good job."

New Zealand's lead is still only six runs and while Pujara said India would want to chase as few as possible, he felt India still held the advantage, and it was a matter of a breakthrough next morning. "Really fantastic game so far. But we are still in a very good position. If we can get a couple early wickets then we can go through the tailenders. A lot of time is available. We are happy with the way things have shaped up. We could have been happier with a couple more wickets but we are in a good position and a good chance to win this Test match."

India could have possibly closed out the game had they taken the chances McCullum offered, but Pujara said the visitors had been doing decently on that front for a while now. "If you look at both the Test matches we have taken so many good catches. So you are bound to drop a few catches. Overall the Indian fielding as been fantastic, not only this tour but also in South Africa. There were quite a few good run-outs and catches. It is not good to pinpoint a couple dropped catches or missed chances. It happens in this game, each and every team goes through this phase."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 17, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Pujara, what say now? Catches win matches. Match is now out of our hands. Well, we might even lose from here!! It is highly unbecoming of a young cricketer like you to brush aside two simple dropped catches. Or is there a culture of 'I scratch your back and you scratch my back' in our team and so you are trying to be soft on them so that they will also be soft on you when you drop one? It's a shame that a player of your caliber should talk so easily about two simple catches that were floored. If fielders don't hold on to catches, how else a batsmen will get dismissed. Only bowled and LBWs? I'm your die-hard fan. But I love India more than any single player. I'll be the first to point out even if my most favourite player talks rubbish. And you spoke rubbish yesterday, Pujara.

  • circit on February 17, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    agree with SanjivAwesome. Pujara himself standing under the lid could not stop a single ball going past him from either side and on top of it he is using lovely adjectives about indian fielding just make a fool out of the spectators. Dhoni could use Kohli or Rohit Sharma to have a go at this pair of NZ batsmen just to see if that could give him a break through. You can't keep your main stream bowlers bowl over after over and have them exhausted. Give them break change the line of sight bring in some orthodox bowlers in like Kohli as he bowls with the wrong foot.

  • dummy4fb on February 16, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Sounds so much like our captain m s dhoni

  • Blade-Runner on February 16, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    prasanna_79 : They can't survive against Wagner and you are talking about going up against Aussies.

  • USIndianFan on February 16, 2014, 20:43 GMT

    Drop Kohli for a match? Also bring in Gambhir instead of Vijay. The fielding needs to get more professional.

  • SanjivAwesome on February 16, 2014, 19:54 GMT

    I am an India cricket fan. I know that the words "fantastic" and our team's "fielding" don't go together. Pujara could have used a more credible vocabulary, like "we tried our usual best". Team Dhoni & Fletcher remains on target to lose another overseas series 0-1, after losing the one-dayers 0-4.

  • dummy4fb on February 16, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    With all due respect, Pujara is being politically correct instead of realistic. If India hold on to the chances like the Aussies, SA, NZ and England, they will win a lot more matches. McCullum's dropped catch in the first Test cost them a the match and might do the same in the second. India's ground fielding has improved no doubt, but the catching is average at best.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 16, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Denial is the fist step to destruction. Pujara should have known better. Ishant Sharma's hair is directly responsible for that dropped catch. Add to that, Ishant has the worst balance in follow-through of any pacer in the world. He couldn't have held on to a catch by looking through just the left eye. Shave his hair completely, I say! Shame! This unprofessional guy needs to go. Kohli's over-confidence that the match is already in the bag, is responsible for his dropped catch. How hard is it to take it with both hands instead of trying to show-off like a spoiled teenager. Ridiculous! There's a reason why India lost the first test - catches win matches. At least in the second test, we have a huge lead. so the two simple dropped catches may not prove costly.

  • jimmyvida on February 16, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    I wrote my earlier blog thinking 4 days had gone in the test. Sorry about pushing Brendon's gear.

  • prasanna_79 on February 16, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    @parvinder7 Can't agree more with you reg Mr.Srinivasan & Dhoni & IPL..,But can't accept that Indians are flat track bullies..,this young Indian Batting line up with the exception of Rohit has shown the technique & temperament & fast learning capabilities to be the best in the world in the years to come.. I can confidently say that this Batting line up ( Dhawan,Vijay,Pujara,Kohli & Rahane ) is the only one in the world at the moment which has the guts , tenacity , technique & reflexes to face up to the Aussie Bowling attack in their own backyard successfully..!! Not confident about Dhoni's captaincy & test batting though..!!! Can't wait for the series against Aussies in Australia to see how these players go about it..!!

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