Melbourne: India’s lone centurion Cheteshwar Pujara at the Melbourne Cricket Ground believes that Australia will have tough time on a deteriorating Day 3 pitch of the ongoing third Test.

Pujara brought up his 17th Test hundred on a day of toil for Australia’s bowlers, on a slow and low MCG surface with variable bounce. Speaking to reporters after the day’s play, Pujara felt the uneasy nature of the pitch will affect scoring. “I think so. It’s a tough wicket to score runs on,” he said.

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“To get used to the pace is difficult. Sometimes you feel it is on the slower side, but the odd ball kicks up and I got hit on my finger. Luckily it is not that bad and I could bat, but I did have to try and get out of the way four of five times … and those were not short balls,” he said.

“Those were back-of-a-length balls and I got hit on my gloves, so as a batsman there’s always doubt when you play on such pitches. The ball I got out to, I felt I could not have done anything about it.

“You have to bat as per the wicket and the situation. On this wicket, each batsman had to play a lot of balls to get set,” he said.

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“It was tough. If those couple of wickets had not fallen, I could have gone on to get 140-150 at the least, but that’s what Test cricket is about. You have to gauge the pitch and the situation and bat accordingly.”

India declared their first innings at 443/7 on the second day and Pujara believes that the visiting team has a total from where they can push for victory over Australia with three days left in the third Test.

“The first two days, if you look at the number of runs scored, it’s very less, but to score 200 in a day is a tough task. I think we have enough runs on the board and as we saw today the pitch has already started deteriorating. There’s variable bounce on it.

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“When I was batting on it yesterday and today I felt there was a difference, and I don’t think it’s easier to bat now. From tomorrow I think it will get difficult to bat on. Our bowlers have been bowling well, so I would say we have enough runs on the board,” he said.