This pitch has variable bounce: Cheteshwar Pujara after fighting fifty

Tags: India tour of South Africa 2021-22, South Africa vs India, 2nd Test at Johannesburg, Jan 03-07, 2022, India, South Africa, Cheteshwar Arvind Pujara

Published on: Jan 05, 2022

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Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara admitted that the Johannesburg surface has variable bounce after scoring a crucial fifty on Day 3 of the 2nd Test against South Africa. Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane struck half-centuries while Hanuma Vihari scored a vital 40* as India posted 266 in their second innings and set South Africa a target of 240 for victory. In response, the Proteas reached 118 for 2 by stumps.

Speaking after the day’s play, Pujara admitted that he looked to play his strokes since the pitch could get you out anytime with an unplayable delivery. The India No. 3 said, "This pitch has variable bounce and it's not easy whenever you get a variable bounce, you put it away because you never know when you will get an unplayable ball. It was a part of my game, that if I get a loose ball I'll try and convert it."

On his positive knock, Pujara added, "But I didn't do anything extra, I have been batting well and it was one of those days when everything went as per my plan. Overall really happy with the way things went and I think my partnership with Ajinkya was very crucial, given that we were at a stage where we wanted some runs for the team.”

Pujara and Rahane added 111 for the third wicket to put India in a strong position before South Africa fought back to restrict India to 266. Chasing 240, the Proteas began very well and, heading into Day 4, need 122 runs with eight wickets in hand. Pujara, however, said that India are confident of putting up a better show on Thursday.

He asserted, "Whenever you have some runs on the board it always helps, if you look at this game it has been a challenging pitch but we have runs on the board, so the game is still very balanced. We haven't picked up too many wickets today but we are confident that we'll have more chances tomorrow.”

Asked for an update on Indian Test captain Virat Kohli’s upper back spasm, Pujara said, "He (Kohli) is definitely getting better and I feel he will soon be fit.”

South Africa went to stumps on Day 3 with Dean Elgar batting on 46 and Rassie van der Dussen on 11

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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