Cheteshwar Pujara’s seventh hundred in his comeback match has given India control of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka despite two of their in-form batsmen missing out due to injury and the rest of the top-order failing to pace and movement. Former skipper Sunil Gavaskar lauded the Saurashtra batsman for his ability to soak in pressure and said the composed 135 not out means a pleasant problem of plenty for the national selectors.(Day 2 Report | Scorecard | Highlights)
Pujara, who returned to the team for the first time since the Boxing Day Test against Australia last year, waged a lonely battle till he found support in Amit Misrha (59) and added 107 for the eighth wicket. Gavaskar was impressed with his temperament.(Pujara Thanks Dravid)
“Pujara’s ton is a pleasant headache for the selectors. Indian cricket is blessed with problem of plenty,” he told NDTV in Colombo.(Pujara Scripts Comeback With Ton)
In the second Test at the P. Sara Oval, KL Rahul slammed his second hundred, also in his comeback match while regular openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan looked in splendid form before injuries ruled them out of the remainder of the series.
“They (Vijay and Dhawan) will resume (get their places) back and it is a good headache to have for selectors. The problem of plenty is better to have than having no one to choose to from,” said Gavaskar, who also felt that it would be a tough call for the selectors to retain Rohit Sharma in the team.
Gavaskar, who himself was one of the most technically correct batsmen to play the game, was floored by Pujara’s skills against the moving ball. “He has a tight technique and temperament to get out of tough situations. He is someone who is not ruffled when beaten around off stump. He would say okay, this is your time but my time will come after some time.
“The temperament covers all aspects. He was making a comeback and under pressure but he is someone who soaks all the pressure. When the ball is moving around the off stump, he makes life easy for the batsman at the other end. He cools things up, he clams things up,” Gavaskar said.
The former opener said India, who finished day two on 292/8 are in a good position and added that a result was certainly possible if rain did not interrupt play any further.