One of my top innings, says Pujara

India's Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates after reaching his century against Australia in the first Test in Adelaide on Thursday. Reuters

Cheteshwar Pujara underlined his value to the team in his signature style by essaying one of the finest knocks of his career. His battling 123, which was characterised by circumstance at the start and belligerence when he was running out of partners, was the rock around which India built their respectable 250/9 on the opening day of the first Test here on Thursday against Australia. The right-hander spoke to the media later. Excerpts.        

On his knock:

It is one of my top innings in Test cricket, I could say among top five. I can’t rate if it was the best but the team-mates were appreciating, they were saying it was one of the best.

On the difficulty of batting in the heat:

It was tough but I was set and I knew I could play my shots, especially when we lost the seventh wicket. Myself and Ash (Ashwin) were having a good partnership but once we lost Ash, I thought I had to accelerate. I knew what shots I could play on that wicket because I had batted for two sessions and I think it was tough considering the weather. It was quite hot, we are used to it in India but still, it was hot and humid.

On his composure as wickets fell to batsmen’s mistakes:

The top-order did make mistakes, but they will learn from those mistakes, hopefully, we will bat well in the second innings. As far as my innings is concerned, I had prepared well and overall I have the experience of first-class and Test cricket and that came in handy today. To be honest, we should have batted better but they also bowled well in the first two sessions and I knew that I had to stay patient and wait for the loose balls. They bowled in the right areas.

On the run out:

I was a bit disappointed, but I had to take that single because only last two balls were left and I wanted to be on strike. I took the chance but he fielded brilliantly and credit goes to him.

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One of my top innings, says Pujara

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