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Cheteshwar Pujara was fluent in his innings as he played with a positive intent AFP (File Photo)

In the final session of Day Three of first Test between India and England, Cheteshwar Pujara led India’s fightback with a resurgent hundred. Coming in at No. 3, after Gautam Gambhir’s dismissal, the local boy walked out to quite a cheer by the spectators present on the ground, as his father, coach and mentor Arvind and wife Puja watched from the sidelines. Pujara started off with blocking the first ball towards covers but played his strokes gradually. He was troubled by the Englishmen at times but stuck around showing character. He has also stuck a big partnership with Murali Vijay, who is batting at 86*. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 1st Test at Rajkot

Pujara started his innings hitting Stuart Broad for a boundary before milking Moeen Ali for three fours in his next two overs. Within no time, Pujara was batting in the mid-twenties with a strike rate hovering over the 90-mark. Vijay, on the other hand, looked in complete control, played with a straight bat and struck when and where necessary. Live Cricket Updates, India vs England, 1st Test, Rajkot

Pujara s attacking approach forced Cook to make a few changes in the bowling. He removed Moeen from the attack and introduced the young left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari with the idea of troubling the two right-handers with the ball going away from them. However, the move backfired as Ansari was hit for a six by Vijay straightaway. Broad was replaced by Chris Woakes from the other end and the pacer brought some momentum back as he troubled the local lad with awkward bouncers. There were three instances where Pujara was hit in the helmet but he survived.

Pujara, unbeaten on fifty at lunch, was slow in second session but did not miss on hitting the odd balls to the boundaries thereby showing his concentration. In the 71st over, Ansari bowled an arm-bowl which was missed by Pujara and was given out. Pujara was in no mood to walk back soon as he reviewed instantly and to India and his delight, the decision turned in hosts’ favour.

The highlight of the second session was undoubtedly the way Pujara’s wife, who is present in the stands, reacted to the decision being turned down. She celebrated in joy and stood up to applause the decision. Pujara got a century after missing out on a chance before tea. It is clearly Pujara’s day as he timed the ball, left well, looked positive and stuck around without doing anything silly. He has also been striking the ball at a brisk rate and will continue to dominate India’s proceedings.

Meanwhile, Pujara also became the first Indian to notch up three figures at Rajkot.