Pujara Dominates New Zealand Attack In Hyderabad
India 307-5 (Pujara 119no, Kohli 58) v
First Test, Hyderabad, Day One
A number of dropped catches cost New Zealand on the opening day of their two-Test series in India. Their seamers bowled relatively well throughout, but the day belonged to Cheteshwar Pujara, who ended on 119 to mark what he had earlier called his “second debut.”
Pujara, replacing the retired Rahul Dravid in India’s eleven from their last Test outing, struck 16 boundaries during his 226-ball innings and came to the crease at the end of the tenth over following a leaden-footed shot from Gautam Gambhir, which had seen him depart to the impressive Trent Boult for 22.
Virender Sehwag offered two chances on his way to an entertaining 41-ball 47, but it was third time lucky as far as New Zealand’s bowlers were concerned when he edged a Doug Bracewell delivery to Martin Guptill at second slip. Sachin Tendulkar became the third wicket to fall, a little after lunch, when he had his middle-stump pegged back by a Boult in-ducker. This left India at 125 for three.
However, the increasingly mature Virat Kohli came to the wicket and doubled the score with Pujara during their fourth-wicket stand. Kohli’s 50 came in quick time, off just 79 balls courtesy of a streaky edge through the slips, although he struggled after reaching the landmark - adding only eight more off his next 28 balls - prior to being dismissed by Chris Martin.
Jeetan Patel, who had bowled tidily throughout the day, allowing the seamers to rotate at the other end, then got his reward. He bowled a delivery down the leg-side to new batsman Suresh Raina, who tried to turn it round the corner, only to find wicket-keeper Kruger van Wyk’s gloves. That made it 260 for five, but India survived without further loss thanks to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s typically fluent unbeaten 29, and closed on 307 for five.
© Cricket World 2012
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