After two days of domination by England’s batsmen, Indian batters came to the fore on day three at Rajkot. They ended the day on 319 for 4, with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara hitting tons. Here’s a look at some interesting stats from the day’s play.
Vijay and Pujara added 209 runs for the second wicket at Rajkot. During their partnership, they crossed 2000 runs as a Test pair, at an impressive average of 65. Among India pairs with 2000 plus runs, they have the best average. Ganguly-Tendulkar, Dravid-Sehwag and Azharuddin-Tendulkar are some of the other Indian pairs with 2000 plus Test runs.
Pujara registered his third Test hundred against England en route to his 124. His previous two hundreds came on England’s previous visit to India in 2012-13. He made 206 and 135 in the first two Tests of that series before his form tapered away. Thanks to his three tons, Pujara averages in the 90s against England in India. In England though, his average is in the early 20s.
Vijay and Pujara’s stand of 209 is now the second highest partnership for the second wicket, for India against England. Rahul Dravid and Gautam Gambhir hold the record for the highest partnership. They added 314 for the second wicket at Mohali in 2008-09.
This is the second time Vijay and Pujara have featured in a second wicket-stand worth over 200. They had earlier added a massive 370 against Australia at Hyderabad in 2012-13. Dravid and Virender Sehwag hold the record for the most double century partnerships for the second wicket. They have featured in a total of three while Dravid and Gambhir have been part of two double hundred stands for the second wicket.
Vijay’s score of 126 is his lowest Test score when he has crossed a hundred. His previous lowest was 139 against Australia at Bangalore. Vijay’s other Test tons read 167, 153, 150, 146 and 144.
Vijay loves batting in the first Test of a series. In his last 11 innings in first Tests, he has accumulated an impressive tally of 896 runs. Since the start of June 2014, Vijay averages over 80 in the first Test of a series.
Five centuries have so far been registered in the first two innings of the Rajkot Test. The last time more than five centuries were scored in the first two innings of a Test in India was when South Africa faced India at Eden Gardens in 2009-10. South Africa had two centurions in their innings, and India four.
India lost only two wickets in the first 91.1 overs, and then lost two in the last two overs – 108th and 109th.
The first four Indian batsmen who stepped out to bat managed to cross at least 20. Gautam Gambhir fell for 29 while Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 26. Vijay and Pujara made 126 and 124 respectively. Amit Mishra, who came in as nightwatchman, broke the sequence falling for zero.
--By A Cricket Statsman