Amit Mishra (left) Cheteshwar Pujara © AFP
Amit Mishra (left) Cheteshwar Pujara © AFP

Former India Test skipper Anil Kumble praised Cheteshwar Pujara, who remained unbeaten on 145 at the end of India’s first innings in the third Test at SSC, Colombo. In his column for Times of India, Kumble writes about Pujara’s decision to miss Indian Premier League (IPL) in order to play county in England and train himself. “The substantial Indian total was, of course, due to the stellar efforts of Cheteshwar Pujara. I know questions have been raised if he still belonged in the squad, but everyone must now be glad that he was very much around. Here is a man who skipped the IPL and went over to England to hone his skills further. All the hard work paid off and in style. The conditions were somewhat similar to what you get in England — with the ability to leave the ball more important than playing it.” Cheteshwar Pujara becomes 2nd batsman in Test history to score ‘carry-the-bat’ ton and duck

“It was a pitch on which the ball was seaming and here was Pujara showing the right amount of caution. It required patience and more than anything else application and Pujara had all that in him, as he also chose the right moment to score the runs.” Mahela Jayawardene: Cheteshwar Pujara’s innings may be the defining moment of India vs Sri Lanka 2015 series

Kumble also praises Amit Mishra, calling him a confident player. “He had a very able partner in Amit Mishra, who is very much a ‘confidence’ player. His showing in the first two Tests was reflected in his batting on Saturday , his reading of the spinners in particular being impressive. The partnership also underscored the importance of late-order runs.”

“For the Lankans, Dhamika Prasad was superb. Had he not tired, things could have been different. Conditions in Lanka are always very tough and it gets worse in between rain spells with the heat and humidity rising,” Kumble concluded.