Pujara’s ton keeps India on top against New Zealand (Roundup)August 23rd, 2012 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Cheteshwar Pujara stamped his class on comeback with a maiden Test century that helped India to recover from a shaky start and reach 307 for five in the first innings against New Zealand on the first day of the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal, Thursday.
Pujara was batting on 119 with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on 29 at the stumps, having added 47 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket partnership.
Pujara has long been considered as the perfect replacement for Dravid. Pujara showed impeccable technique and composure as he came out to bat at the No.3, the position in which Dravid batted for more than a decade.
Pujara’s knock strengthened the Indian innings after Dhoni opted to bat first. Opening batsmen Gautam Gambhir (22) and Virender Sehwag (47) added 49 runs for the first wicket.
But the two openers departed playing loose shots. Gambhir chased an outgoing delivery while Sehwag, who was dropped on 35, also failed to convert a fine start as he edged Doug Bracewell’s away going delivery to second slip.
Sachin Tendulkar failed as he was bowled out for 19, leaving India at 125 for three. Pujara and Virat Kohli (58) then rescued India with their 125-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Kohli’s innings was cut short by a poor shot as he was caught at the second slip by Guptill for 58.
Meanwhile, Pujara moved from 95 to 99 with a classy four that went through the point. He completed his maiden century with a single off James Franklin.
While Pujara made the most of the opportunity, Suresh Raina (3) failed again. It was then left to Pujara and Dhoni to see the day through without any further loss.
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Tags: bracewell, composure, decade, dhoni, first test, gautam gambhir, guptill, impeccable technique, james franklin, maiden test, pujara, raina, rajiv gandhi, roundup, skipper, stumps, test century, uppal, virender, wicket partnership