India vs Australia 1st Test: Cheteshwar Pujara Surpasses Joe Root to Achieve Massive Feat
Cheteshwar Pujara in action during 1st Test against Australia (Credit: Twitter/@BCCI)

Test-specialist Cheteshwar Pujara achieved massive feat during the Day 1 of the opening Test match against Australia on Thurday at Adelaide Oval. Pujara, who is known for playing gritty knocks, scored 43 runs in the first innings before getting dismissed by Nathan Lyon. Pujara faced 160 balls during his gritty knock against a fierce Aussie bowling attack. With his patient innings, Pujara surpassed England captain Joe Root to set the record for facing the most number of balls by any batsman against Australia.

Root has faced 3,607 balls (28 innings) against Australia in the past decade, Cook is third on the list as he has played 3,274 deliveries (40 innings). Team Indian captain Virat Kohli is on the fourth spot with 3,100-plus deliveries in 35 innings.

Pujara was the leading run-scorer when India visited Australia last time in 2018-19. The red-ball speciallists slammed 521 runs in four games with three centuries as India clinched the series 2-1 register their first-ever Test series win Down Under.

With India losing both their openers cheaply, Pujara and Virat Kohli shared a 68-run partnersip to help the visitors reach the 100-run mark. However, just when situation seemed to be easing out for India, Pujara was caught at leg-slip by Marnus Labuschagne against spinner Nathan Lyon and went back to the dressing room after scoring 43 runs off 160 balls.

While at the end of Day 1, India were 233-6 in 89 overs as Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin will resume the proceedings for hosts on Friday. For India, Kohli slammed 74 runs and was run-out in unfortunate series of events. It was the last ball of the 76th over when Ajinkya Rahane pushed the ball through deep-extra covers and called for a single to which Kohli instantly ran, but Josh Hazlewood picked the ball and throw it toward’s bowler’s end as Nathan Lyon destroyed the timber. Kohli paid the price of Rahane’s mistake and went back to pavilion in frustration.

Rahane also followed his skipper back in pavilion after getting dismissed on 42 runs. All eyes will be on Saha and Ashwin on the Day 2 as India need to score 300-plus runs in first innings to give a tough fight to Austalia.