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'Cheteshwar Pujara mocks fragile batting'

Last updated on: November 17, 2012 14:06 IST

'Cheteshwar Pujara mocks fragile batting'

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Day Two of the first Test between India and England brought bad news for the visitors. But Cheteshwar Pujara dominated all the headlines.

So how did the foreign press react to the day's play at Motera? Rediff.com brings you a summary of what the English Press felt.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph's Nick Hoult opines whether Alaistair Cook's men are up for a fight.

The 'Welcome to India' signs were up straightaway as R Ashwin opened the bowling with four men around the bat and spinners were operating from either end within 10 overs of the innings.

"It is going to be a challenging task for them [to survive] because the way they were batting it looked like they were a fragile batting line-up for sure," was the verdict of Cheteshwar Pujara, who had just batted on the same pitch for 7½ hours with few moments of panic.

But England are defiant. Patel is a chirpy character full of self-confidence and he was giving little ground to India.

"We have got two world-class batsmen at the crease, Ian Bell still to come, myself and Matt Prior. We have a lot of batting. There is no question about how long we can bat. We have got the same potential in batting as India. We have got to keep believing that."


Image: Cheteshwar Pujara


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'India can build their future on Cheteshwar Pujara'

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The Guardian

The Guardian's Vic Marks adds -- the name of Cheteshwar Pujara is starting to trip off the tongue, often in the same sentence as the words "the new Rahul Dravid".

Pujara bats methodically and relentlessly. He has strokes -- the caressed cover drive, the flick off the toes, the no-nonsense cut -- but he uses them discreetly.

Pujara posted his double century with the inevitability of another fine, dry day in Ahmedabad. Yet it was not a dour innings. From the start he was positive whether in defence or attack in a manner beyond England's harassed upper orderr -- and misplaced nightwatchman -- in the last half-hour of Friday's play.

Pujara has the makings of a Test match specialist. On Friday night that was enough for him. He had an unbeaten double century to his name as well as a cherished text of congratulation from his predecessor, Rahul Dravid.




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'Double centurion Pujara is the new great Wall of India'

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Daily Mail

Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail points out that India have already found a replacement for the mighty Dravid and he has played an innings that may have the same psychological effect on England's fortunes as Hashim Amla's 311 for South Africa in the first Test last summer.

They make them different out here. Pujara, known as Chintu to his family (it means 'sun' in Hindi), was batting in nearby Bhavnagar when his mother, Reena, died seven years ago and he says he has no hobbies or interests in life beside cricket.

It was Reena who made him promise that he would play for India one day. 'This was her dream,' he said. 'It was her obsession and she would have been ecstatic.'

There is a story that in his second Test against South Africa in Durban, Pujara misjudged a pull shot off Lonwabo Tsotsobe and was caught, top edge, for 19. Back in the dressing room, Dravid looked at him coolly. 'Do you often play shots like that?' he asked.

'He told me I should go to my natural game rather than playing too many shots,' Pujara recalled. 'Play to your strength, he said, which is to hang around and wait for the loose ball.'

It sounds such pedestrian advice, but it is India's secret. Hang around, wait for the loose ball, then hang around some more. From here, England play it Pujara's way, or lose.




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