In a major boost to the Indian side, Cheteshwar Pujara drove India into a formidable lead by tea break that India concluded for 491/6. The Sydney Cricket Ground witnessed the wrath of Pujara taking India when he almost converted his 160 to 200 but fell 7 runs short. This score is highest of India outside Asia in Test since the West Indies series of 2016.
For Pujara a total of 193 from 373 deliveries is a personal best overseas. Playing for the team he put on 89 runs along with Rishabh Pant. Pant also managed to work his best and get his first fifty before Pujara departed and reached 88 continuing his partnership with Ravindra Jadeja.
The ongoing Test series has been record-setting for the Indian side in many ways. For Pujara his 30 hours inning on the ground is a new record and a benchmark for other visiting batsmen who are visiting Australia. The intensity in his character is shown by the improvement he had. In South Africa last year, he struggled with fast bowling but nevertheless, he showed his appetite for a fight. In England last summer he played a good inning with one quality hundred. Now in Australia so far Pujara has stacked up 521 runs with 3 exceptional centuries.
Starting the play India had a slow first hour when Pujara and Hanuma Vihari got on the ground to face Kangaroo bowlers. Pujara played his game in a composed and strategic manner nudging into the gaps. Pujara reached 150 after hitting a four into the cover off Nathan Lyon. However, Lyon claimed Vihari in the same over adding only 3 runs to his overnight score.
Pujara while playing Starc went past his highest overseas score of 153 he made for India in Johannesburg in 2013 and Galle in 2017. Pujara has reached 150 on 6 more occasions before but he was dismissed before 159 in all, but each time he has crossed the limit he hit a double-ton.
Interestingly, Pujara was dropped on 192 by Usman Khawaja but the same bowler lured him again which was caught by Lyon allowing Pujara to contribute only one more run. Pujara played an inning that spanned 373 balls which is a benchmark of its own kind.
Pant was going strong with Pujara departed and he scored his half-century from 85 balls before tea. In the after the session we can see Pant making a century.