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Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara added 209 runs for 2nd wicket partnership IANS

Day Three of the first Test between India and England at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot began with Indian openers Murali Vijay and Gautam Gambhir at the crease with the score of 63 for no loss of wickets. Gambhir got out early in the day after scoring 29 but from there on, Vijay along with Cheteshwar Pujara added 209 runs for second wicket partnership and took India to a stronger position. Pujara was hit thrice in his helmet while trying to leave the bouncer but stayed and scored an impressive ton. He scored 124 runs, which included 17 boundaries and at a strike-rate of 60.19.

From the other end, Vijay was quite slow but he too scored a ton and also hit four sixes throughout his knock. Later, both got out and from England’s bowling department, Stuart Broad, Zafar Ansari, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid got one wicket each. At the end of day three, India scored 319 with the loss of four wickets and with this impressive day for India, we present some interesting numbers.

26 sixes from Murali Vijay third most sixes by any Indian opener in Tests after Virender Sehwag 88 sixes as an opener and Navjot Singh Sidhu 34 sixes as an opener. Vijay has hit three sixes so far in this match and surpassed Sunil Gavaskar’s tally of 23 sixes as an opener in Tests.

3rd Test ton for Cheteshwar Pujara against England his most against a single side in Tests. Before this hundred, Pujara had two Test centuries against both New Zealand and England.

60.19 batting strike-rate of Pujara in his 124-run knock in this Test. This is his third best strike-rate by him in a Test innings, where he has scored 100 or more runs. Eight out of his nine hundreds has come with the strike-rate of above 50. That rare one occasion with below 50 strike-rate came against England at Mumbai in 2012. Also, Three out of his nine Test hundreds has come at the strike-rate of above 60.

16 consecutive innings for Vijay without any hundred before this. His last hundred came against Bangladesh at Fatullah in 2015. Since then, Vijay made four fifties but couldn’t convert those into hundreds. Also, twice in those 16 innings, he got out in 40s.

25th time Gautam Gambhir dismissed via lbw in his Test career. Among the players who has played 100 or more Tests innings, Gambhir has second highest percentage of getting out via lbw 25 out total of 98 dismissals (25.51%) after Shane Watson 29 out of total of 106 dismissals (27.36%).

41.86 batting strike-rate of Vijay in his 126-run knock in this Test. This is his second lowest strike-rate by him in a Test innings, where he has scored 100 or more runs. Five out of his seven hundreds has come with the strike-rate in 40s. Those two rare occasions with above 50 strike-rate came against Bangladesh (150 at 55.14) at Fatullah in 2015 and against Australia (144 at 67.60) at Brisbane in 2014.

65.03 batting average for Vijay and Pujara together in Tests. This is the best best batting average by any Indian pair which has collected more than 2,000 runs in Tests. Also, they becomes 13th Indian pair to have scored more than 2,000 runs together in Tests.

Four sixes by Vijay joint most by an Indian openers in a Test innings. Virender Sehwag has also hit four sixes against England in a Test innings at Chennai in 2008.

Partnership of 209 runs between Vijay and Pujara for 2nd wicket. Last time an Indian pair added more than 200 runs for second wicket was in 2013 against Australia at Hyderabad.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with CricLife and CricketCountry.com. He can be followed at @abhik2593)