Home > News >

Cheteshwar Pujara defends India’s poor show on field on Day 3 against New Zealand

Cheteshwar Pujara © AFP
Cheteshwar Pujara is confident of India’s win in the second Test © AFP

By Chetan Narula

 

Wellington: Feb 16, 2014

New Zealand’s spectacular fightback in the ongoing third Test was helped to an extent by dropped catches but Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Sunday defended his teammates, saying their fielding has been “fantastic” for most part of the trip.

After two days of domination at the Basin Reserve, the visitors had a tough day in the field as the pitch flattened out and the hosts rallied to 252/5 in their second innings to wipe off the first innings deficit.

While wickets didn’t come in the last session Sunday, a couple of close chances went down in the field, particularly off centurion Brendon McCullum who benefitted on both occasions. It was, in fact, the difference between the match finishing on Sunday and going into a fourth day.

“If you look at both the Test matches we have taken so many good catches. Not only on this trip, but in South Africa also, the Indian fielding has been fantastic. We have effected many run-outs and held many good catches. So you are bound to drop a few catches here and there,” said Pujara, defending his mates, after the third day’s play.

“It has been a fantastic game so far with many turns. But we are still in a very good position. If we can get a couple of quick wickets early on tomorrow, a lot of time is available. We are happy with the way things have shaped up.

“We could have been happier with a couple of more wickets but we are in a good position and in with a good chance to win this Test match,” he added.

India bowled out New Zealand for 192 runs in their first innings and then went on to score 438 runs in their second essay.

The Kiwis almost lost their way before recovering through a fine partnership of 158 runs for the sixth wicket between McCullum (114 not out) and BJ Watling (52 not out).

“We have to give credit to their batsmen. The way they batted was really good. Brendon batted well and that partnership was very crucial for them. We tried our best but they were the winners in that last session. Like I said earlier, if we can get a couple early wickets then we can go through the tail-enders,” he said.

“The pitch is getting better day by day. Our bowlers did a very good job and bowled in the right areas. They didn’t allow them to score many runs, which is a good sign for us.  Overall looking at the wicket, they bowled really well,” Pujara added.

When asked, what sort of target the Indians will like to chase now that the Kiwis have taken a tiny lead, Pujara replied, “We don’t want to chase a big target obviously, the lesser the better. But you cannot keep any targets in mind while bowling. We want to get them out as early as possible.”

In the end, the line of questioning moved to his form, as the batsman has gotten starts in this series but somehow failed to convert them. Even so, he is now part of the Indian ODI team to play in Asia Cup.

“I have learnt from my mistakes. My only regret is the first innings’ dismissal in the first Test match where I played a really bad shot. But apart from that I got a good ball in the second innings there and here also, in the first innings I got a very good ball.”

“I am confident of playing the ODI format well. It is just that I need to get a couple good scores in that format. I have done really well in the domestic matches I have played.  So I am confident of a good showing in this format as well,” Pujara signed off.

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Kane Richardson, Ben Cutting clinical in Australia A’s 6-wicket win over South Africa A

Bangladesh recall Imrul Kayes for West Indies tour

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: R Ashwin should play, feels Saqlain Mushtaq

JSCA to organise bowling camp for 17 short-listed candidates

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Grass cover on pitch at Rose Bowl

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Kane Richardson, Ben Cutting clinical in Australia A’s 6-wicket win over South Africa A

Bangladesh recall Imrul Kayes for West Indies tour

UN officials highlight the rising trend of pharmaceutical misuse in India

399 million users access Facebook every month only on their mobile phones, mobile ads account for 62 percent of overall ad revenues

After Kick, Salman Khan to remain busy with shoots till 2018

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

What is Nandita Das’ next directorial venture all about?

Expecting a baby? Here’s an app that will help!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here