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India vs Australia: Resolute Cheteshwar Pujara Stonewalls Aussie Bouncer Barrage at Gabba

Pujara got to the slowest half century of his Test career and was in the zone when former cricketer Shane Warne suggested the hosts use short ball and bouncers to rattle the elegant right-hander.

India vs Australia: Resolute Cheteshwar Pujara Stonewalls Aussie Bouncer Barrage at Gabba

Indian fans are on cloud nine after India's win in Brisbane and there are few people who are being hailed as the heroes of this win. Cheteshwar Pujara has to be among them as he not only batted brilliantly but also put his body on the line for the cause. Pujara got to the slowest half century of his Test career and was in the zone when former cricketer Shane Warne suggested the hosts use short ball and bouncers to rattle the elegant right-hander.

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“I reckon rough Pujara up,” Warne said. “He’s in his zone, he’s in his rhythm here. Upset him, try and rip the helmet off. Give him some short stuff.” he was heard saying on-AIR. Soon after he was in the center of the barrage. He was hit on helmet, his head, fingers. This happened to him on at least ten occasions but the Aussies failed to break his will. Pujara's resolve didn't go unnoticed. Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar lauded the effort.

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"See, whatever I say about him will be very, very less. He put his body on the line for Indian cricket, for the Indian cricket team. He took blows on gloves, body, helmet but he didn't deter. His presence at the other end also gives confidence to young stroke players that there is someone holding the other end. That's why his innings was so important because if India had lost two wickets in the second session, it would have made things difficult. He held the fort together until the second new ball. And with that, Pant grew in confidence and see, what unfolded. It's such an extraordinary day," Gavaskar said while talking to Channel 7 and Sony Ten 3.

With over 324 runs needed at the start of day five -- where a lot of rain was predicted, India could have gone for an easy option of a draw, after they lost opener Rohit Sharma early in the day. But they chose to go for the target, and in style. It all started with Shubman Gill taking the attack to the opposition bowlers, and slammed a 91, while Cheteshwar Pujara kept blocking everything at the other end. In one over of Mitchell Starc, the duo added 20 runs, against the run of play.

But just nine runs short of his maiden Test ton, he was caught brilliant by Steve Smith, off Nathan Lyon. Then came skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who showed the intent, right from the word go. He scored a quickfire 24, and the message to the Aussies was clear. One particular moment in the match could be termed as game-changing -- one where Rahane stepped down the track and hit Lyon for a humongous six.

Soon Pujara too reached his fifty and tried to up the ante. But India lost Pujara and Rahane rather quickly that could have sent panic attacks in the Indian dressing-room. But not for Rishabh Pant. The man just played 'coming off age' innings for his 89 not out and took India home. What is interesting is that Pujara, during his 200-ball stay at the crease, copped multiple blows on the head and hand.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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