Cricket News: In Johannesburg, India was defeated by South Africa by seven wickets in the second Test of the series. Dean Elgar, the Proteas captain, batted brilliantly under pressure, remaining unbeaten on 96 in the 240-run chase to lead the hosts to a series-levelling win at Wanderers.
India, who had been struggling with their batting order, got some relief in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test when their veteran hitters stepped up. At the Wanderers, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both struck quick half-centuries, helping India set a competitive target for the Proteas.
The pair put on a 111-run third-wicket stand, and Pujara, who has been chastised for his slow knocks in the past, smashed 10 boundaries in his 53 off 86 deliveries.
Pujara, one of the most important members of the Indian Test squad, has been criticised for his uneven play over the last year, but former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar praised the senior batter, comparing him to Hashim Amla of South Africa.
“He reminds me of Hashim when I look at him.” When you watch Hashim bat, you get the feeling that everything is in control. “Even on wickets where the ball was turning, the way Hashim was batting in India, it was almost as if, ‘see, nothing’s happening,’ and the same thing with Cheteshwar Pujara,” Gavaskar said on SuperSport.
Gavaskar went on to say that players with Pujara’s demeanour are “absolutely amazing” in the locker room.
“Having players with this disposition in your locker room is a huge blessing.” It may not be just on the field, but it’s a great plus, and I believe having someone with Cheteshwar Puajra’s temperament in the changing room must be absolutely fantastic because there are multiple periods of tension in international cricket where people want to do this or that. It makes a great difference to have someone who will think about it carefully and offer you a considered view,” Gavaskar remarked.
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