India vs Australia: Cheteshwar Pujara has faced 3,609 balls in 28 innings vs Australia in last 10 years.© AFP
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara might have missed his half-century on Thursday, but he broke England skipper Joe Root’s record of facing most deliveries against Australia in the longest format of the game in the last 10 years. Pujara, who has now faced 3,609 balls in 28 innings against Australia in the last 10 years, scored 43 runs off 160 balls on the opening day of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval. Root, who has scored 5,962 runs in Test cricket, has faced 3,607 deliveries against Australia in the past decade. India skipper Virat Kohli and veteran batsman Alastair Cook have faced 3,115 and 3,274 balls against Australia respectively.
Pujara played a patient knock on the opening day of the pink-ball Test but was dismissed just before the tea break by Nathan Lyon. The Australian spinner sent Pujara back for the tenth time in Test cricket.
The Indian batsman admitted that patience is the key in the longest format of the game. Pujara said the batsmen need to spend enough time on the Adelaide wicket before they can start going after the bowlers.
“Patience is necessary for Test cricket as you bat according to the situation. When bowlers are getting the help you have to be patient and you tend to not play many shots,” he said during the virtual press conference.
“I don’t think it was a flat pitch where you can start playing your shots and keep scoring runs. So it’s a pitch where you need to give enough time as a batsman,” Pujara added.
At stumps, India’s score read 233/6 with Saha (9) and R Ashwin (15) at the crease and the Australian bowlers looking to go for the kill.
For the hosts, Mitchell Starc looked a completely different character with the second new ball in hand and finished with the best figures of the day — 2/49.
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