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Cheteshwar Pujara feels 187 as good as 300 on tough Wanderers pitch

While Cheteshwar Pujara was confident of the score posted on board by the Indian cricket team, South Africa cricket team allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo felt the hosts have control of the third Test after Day 1.

cricket Updated: Jan 25, 2018 12:27 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
South Africa vs India,SA vs IND,Cheteshwar Pujara
Indian cricket team’s Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates scoring a half-century during the first day of the third test against South Africa cricket team at Wanderers cricket ground on Wednesday.(AFP)

Terming his 179-ball fifty as one of the toughest he has ever scored on a very difficult Wanderers pitch, Cheteshwar Pujara said 187 is as good as 300 and hoped Indian cricket team seamers would come into play quickly and dismiss South Africa for less than 150. (India v South Africa Day 1 highlights | Scorecard)

South African allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo, however, thinks 187 wasn’t a par score and that the hosts could outscore it if they hung around till the bowlers get tired. With both camps taking contrasting positives from the first day, all will boil down to how India bowl on the second day. Pujara is upbeat about India’s chances.

“It was difficult to score on. It was difficult to rotate the strike. It has lot of bounce, it has seam movement and there is enough pace now. So we had to work hard. But the total we have, I think it’s as good as scoring 300 on any wicket. We got a wicket and if we bowl well, we will get them out. I would say it was a good day for us,” said Pujara on Wednesday.

Asked what he defined as ‘intent’, something Kohli has been repeating so often this series, Pujara gave a measured reply.

“Each and every player is different and Virat is someone who has been really batting very well in all the formats of the game. The way he was batting, I don’t think any other batsman could have batted like that. For me intent is something where you defend well, you leave the ball well and you play on the merit of the balls. Ultimately what matters is that you score some runs for the team,” he said.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 23:08 IST