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If anyone out there knows how to get Cheteshwar Pujara out early in an innings, Justin Langer would like to speak with you.
The Indian batsman smothered the Aussies last time he toured Down Under and he’s started this Test series in exactly the same fashion.
In his first 100 balls faced at Adelaide Oval on Thursday Pujara scored a total of 18 runs.
He hit his first boundary on his 148th delivery, punching a backfoot drive through covers. Funnily enough he hit his second on the next ball.
Pujara was eventually caught out off Nathan Lyon, having amassed 43 runs from 159 balls.
After Mitchell Starc had knocked over Prithvi Shaw in the first over of the match, Pujara dug his heels in like a stubborn infant and Australia just couldn’t find a way through.
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“They just can’t get him out,” Mark Waugh said in commentary for Fox Cricket.
“He’s faced so many deliveries in his last five Tests against Australia.”
It was the same story over the summer of 2018-19 when Pujara effectively batted the Aussies out of the contest.
It’s an all too familiar sight and a puzzle Langer will need to solve sooner rather than later.
Cricket fans had mixed feelings about the Pujara innings.
One tweeted, “surprised Pujara isn’t covered in pigeon s**t”, suggesting the man is more of a statue.
Most balls faced in Test cricket v Aus in the past decade:
CHETESHWAR PUJARA 3609 (28 inns)
Joe Root 3607 (46 inns)
Alastair Cook 3274 (40 inns)
Virat Kohli 3115 (35 inns)#AUSvIND
— Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) December 17, 2020
Warnie: ‘Are you for real?!’
Kohli expected to be at the other end during a slow, laborious, painful but inevitably joyful event. Although I suspect he thought it would be the birth of his child, not Pujara’s innings.#AUSvIND
— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) December 17, 2020
She: How patient are you?
He: I could watch Pujara bat 😛
Rock-solid defense! #AUSvIND
— Abhi Panchal (@iamabhi1909) December 17, 2020
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When Pujara finally did hit his two back-to-back boundaries fans were shocked.