Proteas

Pujara: One of toughest wickets I've played on

Cheteshwar Pujara (Gallo)
Cheteshwar Pujara (Gallo)

Johannesburg - On a wicket that is providing fast bowlers all of the assistance they could ever ask for, India's Cheteshwar Pujara batted for 261 minutes at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

READ: Phehlukwayo gets 'goosebumps' watching Big Vern

His knock of 50 was not the easiest on the eye, but it has given India something to work with in this Test match after they were bowled out for 187 on day one of the third Test. 

Pujara took 54 balls to get off the mark and, when he eventually did, he was greeted by a hearty round of ironic applause from the small yet vocal crowd of supporters at the Bull Ring. 

His knock was one of immense patience and intense concentration, and his 84-run third wicket stand with skipper Virat Kohli (54) has given the Indians a lifeline as they look to avoid a series whitewash. 

It was clear for everyone watching that batting was extremely difficult, and speaking after the day's play Pujara gave a sense of just how testing it was out there.

"This is one of the toughest wickets I have ever played on," he said.

That is some statement from a man who has 56 Test matches for his country.

"It was difficult to score runs, especially initially in the first session. It was difficult to rotate the strike," he continued.

"There was a lot of bounce, it has seam movement and there is enough pace."

But, despite the challenges, Pujara believes that India are in a good position in the Test. 

"We had to work hard to score runs but with the total we have, that's as good as getting 300 on any wicket," he said.

"If we bowl well, I think we'll get them out. I think it was a good day for us.

"On this wicket you won't be able to bat without getting beaten. I wouldn't say it was a struggle ... when you get beaten you have to accept it. To score a 50 on this pitch I think is a good knock."

South Africa will start day two with on 6/1 with Aiden Markram having been dismissed late on Wednesday.

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