IndvsEng, 1st Test: Pujara and Vijay specials salvaged India on Day 3
Rajkot : Two masterly centuries by M Vijay and local lad Cheteshwar Pujara and 209 run second wicket partnership were highlights on day 3 of the first of five test match series between India and England which saw the host giving a spirited reply of 319 for 4 in reply to visitors huge 1st inning total of 537.
At stumps, Indian skipper Virat Kohli (26) was at the crease after losing nightwatchman Amit Mishra on the last ball of 3rd day. India is trailing by 218 runs in the 1st innings suggesting the match is heading towards a draw at Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium.
Earlier resuming at 63 for no loss, India lost its opener Gautam Gambhir in the morning. The next batman Pujara and Vijay cruised along well to take the score to 277 before Pujara got out but not before he compelted his 9th test hundred at his home ground. Pujara , who received some blows on his body from the England pacers but he looked in positive frame of mind playing some delectable shots all round the wicket and looked in command till he lost his concentration.
Vijay, a formidable batsman as he is, played to his strength and helped India saving the face in the end. He scored 126, his 7th test ton, was sedate in comparison. What it looks from here, the match is not likely to give any result in view of the condition of pitch and the attack England is having. It could be mentioned here that Pujara took review when, on 86, was given leg before wicket to Zafar Ansari, The DRS worked in the favour of the local boy who wnet on to score another gem of a hundred.
For England, Broad, Ansari, Rashid and Stokes picked one wicket each.
England 1st inning 537
India 1st inning 319/4 (Vijay 126, Pujara 124; Ben Stokes 1/39)
India faces uphill task to overhaul England’s huge total