Resurgent Cheteshwar Pujara leads India’s resistance at Headingley against England, Sports News
Cheteshwar Pujara orchestrated India’s fiery resistance with an unbeaten 91, but England remained on track for a series-level victory in the third test at Headingley on Friday.
Under pressure to hold onto his place in the squad, Pujara added 82 points with Rohit Sharma and 99 with Virat Kohli to lead India to 215-2 when bad light stopped play on Matchday 3.
India are still 139 points behind, but it was a much improved performance by the tourists who had withered to 78 in their first innings to be on the back foot.
Captain Kohli, who has had a moderate streak so far, was at 45 and hopes to continue the good work when they resume on Saturday.
After conceding a massive 354 lead, India needed a good start to their first games, but Craig Overton turned them down.
KL Rahul was on six when he managed to overturn a lbw verdict against him, but that doesn’t really matter in the end.
Overton sent Rahul back for eight, inducing an advantage and Jonny Bairstow dove to his left to grab a superb one-handed grip on the second slide on lunchtime.
Rohit and Pujara refused to throw in the towel during the no-ticket post-lunch session.
Rohit would just push the ball but sometimes counterattack, such as when he guided an increasing delivery from Ollie Robinson on the drawstring for six.
Pujara came out at bat with his team in dire straits and amid growing whispers about his future, having missed fifty in his previous 12 innings.
As if to silence criticism over his modest strike rate, the drummer hit three early limits, shifting to a running pace before lowering his head and focusing on the rebuilding work.
Robinson ended the flourishing stand shortly after tea break when he trapped Rohit lbw for 59, a decision the drummer unsuccessfully reviewed.
Pujara pulled Overton for a border in order to conjure up a timely half-century that would release some of the pressure on him.
His scoring urgency was best exemplified when Pujara, famous for his conventional stick, arched back towards a rising Robinson delivery to play a daring ramp shot on the slip vaulters for a limit.
Earlier, England quickly lost their last two wickets to reach 432 in their strong response to India’s meager total in the opening innings.