100 Hours 100 Stars: ‘Was a team effort, proud moment’ - Pujara recalls 2018 Test series win against Australia
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara recalled the historic 2018 Test series win over Australia - India’s first Test win on Australian soil. Speaking on 100 Hours 100 Stars, an initiative started by Fever Network, Pujara called the series win a proud moment, and added that it was a team effort.“It was a special series. It was our first Test win on Australian soil, so it was a proud moment for all of us,” he said.
“The first match defined the series for all of us. If you can win the first Test, and start off well, especially overseas, it helps you. It is difficult to bounce back when you are at home and go 1-0 down in a four-match Test series. It happened to us in 2017 when Australia visited India. We lost the first Test in Pune. To bounce back from that... it was the toughest series I have ever been part of,” he added.
“So, we knew after winning the first Test in Australia that we were in commanding position, and we could win the series. It was a collective effort, all of us enjoyed,” he added.
Pujara further applauded India’s bowling effort throughout the Tour Down Under. “Our fast bowling was another important aspect of the series. They have improved a lot - and they got us over the line in Australia,” he added.
Pujara finished the series as the highest-run scorer with 521 runs in 4 Tests at an average of 74.42. He scored three hundreds in the series. On being asked which one was his favourite, Pujara recalled the hundred he scored in the first Test of the series at Adelaide.
“The fist hundred in Adelaide was the most memorable one from that series. We were about six wickets down. And then I had a partnership with R Ashwin. I thought putting a good total in the first innings of a big Test series was a crucial part. My individual score was 123, and our total was 250.
“That is where everything started. So, we planned to get Australia all out before 250, and that’s what happened. We got a lead of 15-20 runs, then we started believing we could win, and we went about putting a decent total on the board in the 2nd innings as well for them to chase,” he said.