Pujara, Vijay put India on top in Hyderabad

March 04, 2013 - 12:12:10 am



Cheteshwar Pujara raises his bat after scoring his fourth Test century during the second day’s play of the second Test match against Australia in Hyderabad yesterday.

Hyderabad: Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara recorded India’s highest-second wicket partnership against Australia on way to putting their team on top in the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here yesterday.

Vijay (129) and Pujara (162) went through the grind in the morning session to end day two unbeaten on a 295-run stand with their team sitting pretty at 311 for one and a healthy 74-run lead. 

Virender Sehwag, the lone batsman to be dismissed during the day, departed cheaply after India resumed with an overnight score of five for no loss. 

Australia apparently ran out of ideas after their fast bowlers kept things tight till lunch. 

India’s spinners have made the difference so far in the series while their Australian counterparts have failed to make an impact. 

It was no different on day two here as Xavier Doherty (0/85) and Glenn Maxwell (0/55) looked far from threatening the powerful Indian batting.

Having said that, due credit should be given to Pujara and Vijay, who scored their second and fourth Test hundreds, respectively. 

Surprisingly, Pujara was the aggressor in the monumental stand while the usually attacking Vijay showed more patience at the crease. 

For Pujara, it was his second successive hundred at this ground after a 159 against New Zealand in the first Test match played at the venue in August last year.

The Saurashtra batsman stroked 25 fours and a maximum with an innings strike rate of 64.54. He brought his 150 by hooking Siddle for a six. 

Vijay, on the other hand, batted out of his comfort zone. It was crucial for India to start the day well and, along with Pujara, he withstood the constant pressure by the Australian pacers.

He still ended up smashing 17 fours and a couple of big hits. More importantly, the timely hundred has given him breathing space in the competitive top-order. 

Vijay said he just wanted to stay at the wicket as long as possible.

“It is always wonderful to get a good start for the team. A partnership like this doesn’t happen all the time. We really cherished it. Pujara played very well,” he told reporters.

“The last Test hit me very hard because I gave away my wicket in the second innings. I just wanted to stay at the wicket as long as possible. I am happy that I gave a good start to the team,” said Vijay, who scored 10 and 6 in the Chennai Test. IANS

comments powered by Disqus