India vs Australia 4th Test: Pant and Pujara Shines, India at 622/7

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Image Source: Indian Express

Indian batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant broke records helping India to post a massive first innings total of 622/7.

Pujara continuing his rich vein of form missed his double century by mere 7 runs and wicketkeeper and attacking batsman Rishabh Pant showed that he can be patient and play according to the team’s needs.

 

Continuing from 303/4 on Day 1 of the 4th Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Hanuma Vihari fell early but it was Pujara and Pant that got together and clobbered the Australian bowling that looked listless on Day 2. After Pujara’s wicket, Pant partnered with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for a partnership in excess of 200.

Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara broke ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid’s long-standing record of the most balls faced in a series in Australia. Pujara has faced 1,258 in the series, while Dravid had faced 1,203 balls in a four-match series in 2003-04. He had also batted for 1868 minutes in the four-match Test series, the third most by an Indian after Sunil Gavaskar.

Rishabh Pant Strikes a Century

 

Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to notch up a century in Australia. He also broke MS Dhoni’s 12-year-old record of the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper-batsman outside India. Dhoni had score 148 against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006. The 21-year-old now holds the record for the highest score by an Asian wicketkeeper outside the subcontinent along with Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim.

Pujara’s innings of 193 off 373 balls were laced with 22 boundaries until he fell to Nathan Lyon. Ravindra Jadeja too wielded his sword. He made 81 off 114 balls with 7 fours and a six. Pant remained not out on 159 off 189 balls including 15 fours and a six.

 

The tired Australian bowlers were only looking for a declaration and finally, with the fall of Jadeja’s wicket, Indian Captain Virat Kohli declared at 622/7. Nathan Lyon picked up the most 4 wickets for which he had to toil for 58 long overs. Josh Hazelwood claimed 2 while Mitchell Starc got a wicket.

At stumps on Day 2, Australia is batting on 24/0 and trailing by 598 runs. Marcus Harris is on 19* and Usman Khawaja on 5*. Australia has made a few changes in their batting. They have dropped Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, promoted Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne will come in at number 3 and Peter Handscomb has got an opportunity. It will be interesting to see whether the Aussies avoid an innings defeat.

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Gaurav Kadam is a young sportswriter and journalist who is a huge cricket enthusiast. He is a bibliophile and a movie and American TV series buff, who is completely addicted to Netflix. Gaurav is liberal in thoughts and agnostic in deeds.

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