Cricket

India vs Sri Lanka: Cheteshwar Pujara needs strong support from lower order to bail out hosts

  • FirstCricket Staff
  • November 17th, 2017
  • 22:04:23 IST

Just 32.5 overs have been possible on two days of this Test match but those 32.5 overs have witnessed a lot of action. A first ball wicket. Swing, seam, attrition, stolid defence, loose shots, a splendid spell. It's a pity that the rains have dominated the headlines.

File image of Cheteshwar Pujara. AP

File image of Cheteshwar Pujara. AP

Only 21 overs were possible on day two before rains played spoilsport again. Sri Lanka continued the momentum from day one as they removed Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin quicky. However, Cheteshwar Pujara, yet again, showed tremendous character to keep the Sri Lankan bowlers at bay. Forty-seven off 102 balls, with nine fours, epitomised Pujara's class. He's been pretty selective in his shot-making and that has set him apart. Time is running out in the Test now and Sri Lanka would look to come full throttle early morning on day three to wrap up India's innings quickly.

Pujara has looked unflustered and he would be looking to provide further stability. He's continued from where he's left off in the Ranji Trophy where he scored 204 and 182 in his last two matches. His county experience is proving to be a boon. However, he would expect decent support from the lower order. Wriddhiman Saha is at the crease with Pujara, he has revelled in pressure situations and if the rain stays away, the duo would be looking to survive the first session.

Saha had had a mediocre outing in the domestic arena and would look to get into the groove early in the series. The lower order consists of Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. Jadeja had a good run with the bat in the Ranji Trophy, where he hit a double century, and a good performance here could further enhance his credibility as an all-rounder.

Bhuvneshwar can stick around too while Shami and Umesh have the ability to add crucial runs with their big hits. However, the need of the hour is patience. Shikhar Dhawan, Rahane and Ashwin got out to flashy shots. The rest need to learn from Pujara and apply themselves. The lower order has bailed India out of tough situations in the past too and the expectations will be high this time around too. Sri Lanka will definitely come hard and this will be a real test of India's collective batting effort. And, yes, most importantly, let's hope the rain stays away.

Updated Date: November 17, 2017 22:04:23 IST

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