Cheteshwar Pujara struck by a short ball from Australia's paceman Pat Cummins on day five of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane(AFP)
Cheteshwar Pujara struck by a short ball from Australia's paceman Pat Cummins on day five of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane(AFP)

Cheteshwar Pujara takes body blows to lead India to win in Brisbane

India vs Australia: Like Close, Pujara will end the day with bruises all over his body--symbols of the nearly immoveable resilience he offered in the face of fiery Aussie fast bowling desperate for a win.
By Rasesh Mandani
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:28 PM IST

Thank goodness for helmets in the modern game. Cheteshwar Pujara wouldn’t have been on the field to celebrate India’s historic win if it wasn't for his protective gear. Instead, he would have been in the hospital for serious treatment. As he held up a fortress under siege on the final day of the Gabba Test, the Australian bowling attack unleashed an absolute barrage of short balls aimed at his body. It was reminiscent of Michael Holding hammering away at Brian Close during the West Indies tour of England in 1976, immortalized in the documentary Fire in Babylon.

Like Close, Pujara will end the day with bruises all over his body--symbols of the nearly immoveable resilience he offered in the face of fiery Aussie fast bowling desperate for a win.

ALSO READ | 'Don't know how to describe this': Emotional Ajinkya Rahane struggles to find words after India beat Australia

He took hits to the head, the elbows, the hands, and ribs. At least ten balls thudded into him through his 211-ball innings. One snorter from Josh Hazlewood whiplashed through his body like a knockout punch from a heavyweight boxer, and sent his helmet visor flying. When he was on 26, he almost had a finger broken by Cummins; it was the one-hit that felled him and needed immediate medical attention, but he grimaced and carried on.

It was what was needed to negate the world's No 1 bowler from scything through the Indian batting line up. It was also Pujara's slowest 50. On 56, he finally succumbed to a ball that nipped sharply back at him and trapped him in front of the wicket. Cummins had finally got his man, but it was too late.

In the middle, Pujara entirely eschewed the pull shot. Balls he could not duck or sway away from, he simply allowed those to hit him on the helmet. Perhaps he remembered his mistimed hook from outside the off-stump against New Zealand in the Christchurch Test last year; India lost their advantage in that Test after his fall and went on to lose it and the series.

ALSO READ | BCCI announces 5 crore bonus for Team India after series win in Australia

“In my entire career, I wouldn't have played that shot. I don’t know why I played it. It was just a reaction. Usually, I don’t pull the ball from that wide of the off-stump,” he had said in an earlier interview. “It’s the biggest regret I have.”

He has made up for the regret at Brisbane. He has the marks to show for it. And, the Indian dressing room no longer questions his batting speed. “Credit to Pujara the way he batted. The way he handled the pressure, it was magnificent,” captain Ajinkya Rahane said in the post-match presentation.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
File image of Michael Vaughan.(Getty Images)
File image of Michael Vaughan.(Getty Images)

'India completely out skilled and out thought England': Michael Vaughan

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:21 AM IST
  • Vaughan, who had been on a trolling spree ever since the third India-England Test match ended in two days with the hosts taking a 2-1 lead, lauded India and said Virat Kohli’s men ‘out skilled and out thought’ England, showing why they are good in these conditions.
Close
England's Ben Stokes misses a shot. (REUTERS)
England's Ben Stokes misses a shot. (REUTERS)

'Toughest conditions I have faced in my 70-Tests as a batsman': Ben Stokes

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:10 PM IST
Reacting on the Indian pitches on this tour, England all-rounder Ben Stokes said ‘these are the hardest conditions’ that he has ever faced as a batsman in his Test career.
Close
India's Axar Patel celebrates a dismissal with teammates during the 4th Test Match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.(ICC/ANI Photo)
India's Axar Patel celebrates a dismissal with teammates during the 4th Test Match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.(ICC/ANI Photo)

Spinners keep England searching for substance

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:26 PM IST
India once again placed themselves firmly on the driver's seat in fourth Test against England. After England opted to bat first, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin got about their business to bowl the visitors' out for 205. In reply, India reached 24/1 at stumps on Day 1.
Close
Ahmedabad: Indian bowler M Siraj celebrates with teammates the wicket of England batsman Joe Root, during the first day's play of the 4th and last test match of the series between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (PTI)
Ahmedabad: Indian bowler M Siraj celebrates with teammates the wicket of England batsman Joe Root, during the first day's play of the 4th and last test match of the series between India and England, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (PTI)

Mohammed Siraj and setting it up—ask Joe Root

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:39 PM IST
Mohammed Siraj steamed in with a slippery bowling action highly similar to Mohammad Amir, to pin Joe Root on his backfoot with a full-pitched delivery angling sharply into him. Root was as plumb as plumb gets. He didn’t even review.
Close
Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli.(BCCI)
Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli.(BCCI)

We aren't going to back down to anyone: Stokes reacts on argument with Kohli

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:27 PM IST
England batsman Ben Stokes played down the whole episode with India captain Virat Kohli on Day 1 of India vs England 4th Test, saying it was just a conversation between two competitors.
Close
Former England pacer Graeme Swann (Twitter)
Former England pacer Graeme Swann (Twitter)

'Got to take your hats off to him': Graeme Swann heaps praise on India bowler

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:35 PM IST
Graeme Swann said he knew there was bit in it for the seamers but he had no idea that it would be Mohammed Siraj who would end up extracting the most out of it during Day 1 of India vs England 4th Test in Ahmedabad.
Close
India's ODI vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur during team's training session in Lucknow on Thursday.(HT Photo)
India's ODI vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur during team's training session in Lucknow on Thursday.(HT Photo)

Century of ODIs beckons Harmanpreet Kaur on Sunday

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:09 PM IST
Like her 100th T20I, this too will be against South Africa and the hard-hitting batter will look to come out of a slump.
Close
South Africa's Temba Bavuma(REUTERS)
South Africa's Temba Bavuma(REUTERS)

De Kock removed, South Africa announce new ODI/T20I and Test captains

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:37 PM IST
CSA said Bavuma will lead the Proteas in the 2021 and 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cups as well as the ICC Men's World Cup in 2023. Elgar will take over the reins into the next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.
Close
India's Shubman Gill walks off the field after losing his wicket during the first day of fourth cricket test match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, Thursday, March 4, 2021.(AP)
India's Shubman Gill walks off the field after losing his wicket during the first day of fourth cricket test match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, Thursday, March 4, 2021.(AP)

'Rahul, Agarwal waiting': Laxman after 'under pressure' Gill gets out for a duck

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:23 PM IST
VVS Laxman said Shubman Gill ‘will be under pressure’ after getting out for a duck in the 4th Test against England as there are some talented openers like KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal waiting in the wings.
Close
Kieron Pollard.(Screengrab/Windies Cricket Youtube channel)
Kieron Pollard.(Screengrab/Windies Cricket Youtube channel)

The biggest batting rampages in cricket

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 06:09 PM IST
On Wednesday, the 33-year-old Kieron Pollard showed that he hasn’t lost any of his power hitting abilities as he tore into Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya, hitting six sixes in an over in the first T20 at Antigua.
Close
Kieron Pollard ensured that Akila Dananjaya's happiness was short-lived. (ICC)
Kieron Pollard ensured that Akila Dananjaya's happiness was short-lived. (ICC)

Dananjaya takes hat-trick, before Pollard hits him for six sixes in an over

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 06:00 PM IST
It’s a truly exclusive club—Gibbs, Singh and now Pollard as he took West Indies to a win in their first T20 against Sri Lanka in Antigua, changing the match in the space of six balls.
Close
India's Shubman Gill, captain Virat Kohli and Axar Patel celebrate the dismissal of England's Dan Lawrence. (REUTERS)
India's Shubman Gill, captain Virat Kohli and Axar Patel celebrate the dismissal of England's Dan Lawrence. (REUTERS)

4th Test: Ashwin, Axar bundle out England for 205 as India take control on Day 1

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:24 PM IST
India ended the day at 24 for 1 with wily old James Anderson (5-5-0-1) accounting for an out-of-form Shubman Gill (0). Rohit Sharma (8 batting, 34 balls) and Cheteshwar Pujara (15 batting, 36 balls) were holding fort for the home side.
Close
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes exchanged a few words.(BCCI)
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes exchanged a few words.(BCCI)

Siraj reveals reason behind Kohli-Stokes heated exchange

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:27 PM IST
India vs England: Things got a little heated between Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli on Day 1 of the 4th Test. Mohammed Siraj revealed what went down.
Close
Mohammed Siraj celebrates Joe Root's wicket.(BCCI)
Mohammed Siraj celebrates Joe Root's wicket.(BCCI)

India vs England 4th Test Day 1 - Action in images

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:01 PM IST
India vs England: Here is all the action from Day 1 of the 4th Test in images.
Close
England fast bowler Jofra Archer(PTI)
England fast bowler Jofra Archer(PTI)

Archer not picked because of injury, Stokes playing 4th Test with stomach upset

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:56 PM IST
  • It was a bit of a surprise when England decided to play only three specialist bowlers in the fourth Test, picking batsman Dan Lawrence in place Jofra Archer who had played in the day-night Test but as it turned out Archer was forced to sit due to an injury.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP