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Virat Kohli lauds Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha after Aussies salvage draw

Virat Kohli was all praise for Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, who produced a 199-run stand to wrest a 152-run first innings lead for India vs Australia in the Ranchi Test

cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2017 18:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
india vs australia,virat kohli,cheteshwar pujara
Australia's Pat Cummins watches as India's Wriddhiman Saha, center, and Cheteshwar Pujara run between the wickets on Day 4 of the third cricket Test in Ranchi on March 19. (AP)

It was a disappointed Indian captain Virat Kohli when he took the stage for the prize presentation on Monday after the fourth Test against Australia ended in a draw in Ranchi. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

“We got ourselves into a very good position, but losing the toss here was never easy. Not being able to take the field and watching the opposition get big runs was difficult.”

But Virat Kohli hastened to add, “We batted beautifully, KL (Rahul) and (Murali) Vijay, but the partnership between (Wriddhiman) Saha and (Cheteshwar) Pujara is the best I have seen. We didn’t expect a 150 lead.”

After Australia lost two quick wickets at close on Sunday, Kohli admitted there was hope.

“We thought we had a good chance, but credit to the two batsmen (Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb), they batted really well. Credit to Australia for playing out the draw, but we played ourselves into a position where we could win.”

Steve Smith admits Aussies were ‘nervous’

After Australia coach Darren Lehmann exhorted his boys to dig deep after Day 4 to save the Test, skipper Steve Smith had every reason to feel proud over how the team came around to draw the fourth Test.

“Proud of the way the boys stuck it out. That’s what we want to be, resilient. They played beautifully,” said Steve Smith.

Admitting there was nervousness, he complimented Glenn Maxwell for the knock of 104, in his company, in the first innings.

“It was crucial for us, at such an important time. It was important to score big first-innings runs, but we left ourselves a bit short there as 450 was not enough to win this match. Maxwell was sensational. That’s the way we want him to play.”

Comeback man Pat Cummins too came in for praise.

“Not too often you spend 210 overs in the field. It was a long two days. The boys really dug deep. I am really proud. Massive game in Dharamsala, can’t wait to get there,” he said.

First Published: Mar 20, 2017 17:34 IST