India created history on Jan 7 after they won their first ever test series in Australia 2-1 and retained the Border-Gavaskar series. India were dominant throughout the series and could have finished with a 3-1 victory at the SCG if rain did not washed out a day and a half to save the Aussies.
C Pujara – Man of the Series
India once again faced problems at the top of the order as both openers KL Rahul and M Vijay continued to get out cheaply to the new ball. That brought India’s number 3 Cheteshwar Pujara to the crease and the responsibility was placed on him to blunt the new ball and not expose the middle-order.
That’s a task that Pujara relishes and he took on the responsibility like a champion. Before the start of the series, it was the wicket of V Kohli that was considered the most prized wicket. But it wasn’t long before J Hazelwood said that the Aussies considered Pujara’s wicket a lot more valuable than Kohli’s as Pujara not only scored a lot of runs but he also consumed a lot of balls, making it hard work for the Aussie attack.
Pujara hit three centuries in the four match series and finished with 521 runs to receive the man of the series award. What’s more impressive is the fact that he spent 1867 minutes at the crease and faced 1258 balls. He formed partnerships with the middle and lower order throughout the test series and was the biggest difference between the two sides.
Ian Chappell Heaps Praise On Pujara
Pujara’s performance wasn’t just appreciated by the Indian team and the fans but also by the opposition. Former Australian captain Ian Chappell heaped praise on Pujara for his magnificent batting display in Australia.
In a statement, Chappell said “Pujara is the most effective blunter of an attack in a cricket world where currently bludgeoning is the favoured submission hold. If he didn’t event the term ‘bat time’, Pujara is certainly a disciple of the method. In addition to helping India win a series for the first time in Australia, he frustrated a top-class opposition attack to the point of submission”.
Pujara will be thrilled with his performance and will look to work on his test game by playing county cricket for the next few months as India do not play any test cricket for the next 6 months.