Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli’s Partnership Makes India Recover from Early Jolt

November 17 14:49 2016

pujaraNew Delhi, Thursday, November 17 – At Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, Indian cricket team faced a couple of jolts despite the fact that Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and invited England to bowl first. The squad includes Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Murali Vijay.

Those to sit on bench for this match are Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Karun Nair, Amit Mishra and Hardik Pandya. England squad eyes good show under the captaincy of Alastair Cook. Those in team are Joe Root, Haseeb Hameed, Ben Duckett, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Zafar Ansari, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad and James Anderson. The players in extra are Jake Ball, Gareth Batty, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Gary Balance and Chris Woakes.

With the seating capacity of 38,000, the ground is supposed to get crowded towards the weekend provided the condition good show is displayed by both sides. Good batting was expected from the home squad. Expectations were huge when openers Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul arrived on the crease. Everybody expected a sound start but nobody thought that second over of the match will make India feel the heat. Rahul was dismissed thanks to a catch by Stokes in Broad’s over. His wicket on a naught certainly kept India away from beginning the contest by being on the robust side. Pressure of performing shifted on Cheteshwar Pujara after that but he did not disappoint.

Vijay, however, lost his wicket to Broad. He was playing well, sending the ball into the fences for four times. Off 21 balls, the opening batsman scored runs with a strike rate of 95.24. Stokes was once again the fielder to come under the ball and take another catch. Anderson was the bowler this time. His dismissal made the captain know how to avoid playing any shot in which wicket is lost. Kohli himself is a determined player who is keen for putting a milestone through marvelous show. The wobbly innings of India was stabilized to a certain extent by Kohli and Pujara who made sure to spend at least some time on the crease as this was imperative to let runs come in easily.

The two players are doing their bit, making sure to cleverly play deliveries that are bowled in different lines and lengths. 28-year-old Kohli is batting at a score of 35 off 61 balls, together with five boundaries. At the same time, Pujara 37-run knock off 81 balls includes four 4s. Till lunch break, India have scored 92 runs for the loss of two wickets in 28 overs. The way two players are batting, it is making England bowlers struggle to figure out how to deal with rival’s batting. This is a major point of concern for England knowing the fact that India are capable to setting a massive target. However, it would be early to predict which squad will rise robustly towards the end of the Day 1 game.

If both Pujara and Kohli remain on the pitch for some more hours, this may let the opponents see no end to the problems. Rahane, Ashwin, Saha, Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Yadav and Shami are yet to bat. Fans who have appeared in good numbers on a working day want the middle-order to not let lose wickets and let England strive for wickets. Cook has gone with James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Zafar Ansari and Adil Rashid. So far, people haven’t witnessed bowling from Moeen Ali. As of now, India are eying to accumulate a total that could be challenging for England when they come to bat. Kohli would want India to bat for the entire day so that unnecessary stress can be avoided. After lunch, it is likely that more than a few bowling combinations will be tried by England captain. More of spin can be seen.

As of now, cover drive of Kohli is spellbinding viewers. He is the player who finds the gap and runs quickly so that single can be converted into twos and threes when ball is stopped by the opponents before it touches the boundary. He knows it very well that responsibility on his shoulder is enormous. Pujara is giving him desired support, playing his natural game. School kids and youngsters are contributing into the number of people present in the stadium.
When opening duo lost their wickets early to fast bowlers, it seemed as if batting collapse might be witnessed. But Pujara and Kohli are focusing to build a good partnership to pocket as many runs as possible so that batmen to bat further should play their role without coming under any sort of tension.

India have deep batting unit. Taking all wickets in a day will be a real challenge for England players. Weather condition of the city is wonderful. With humidity of 55 per cent, 31 degree Celsius maximum temperature and 20 degree Celsius minimum temperature, both sides may feel comfort. The track is well utilized by the Indian players on the pitch who are trying their best to make their contribution grow big. If Pujara and Kohli continue to carry on changing strikes then it may be a good toss to win. They house the calibre to hit century in the longest format. But cricket is a sport where there can be no script.

When every member tries to do his bit and let the team have a solid grip in the match, it becomes easy them to not let rivals even think of restricting them at a low total. India want to take lead of 1-0 in the series and same is the desire of England. Fans pray for India’s success. If the Men in Blue to do crumble then chasing the target may look tough to Cook-led side in view of the fact that mood of the pitch will change and cracks will open. Attention of both teams will make sure not to lose any game in order to be victorious by the end of the series and lift the winner’s trophy.