Veteran India wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik heaped huge praise on Cheteshwar Pujara and said that the talismanic batter deserved the Player of the Match award for his batting performance against Bangladesh in the opening Test match. The talismanic batter missed out on a century in the first innings and was dismissed on 91 but played a counter-attacking knock in the second to reach the triple-figure mark.
Pujara showed a completely different side of him in the second innings and registered his fastest Test hundred, off 130 deliveries. The 34-year-old scored an unbeaten 110 with the help of 13 boundaries.
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Karthik lauded Pujara’s exceptional knocks as the first one came under pressure while the second was completely contrasting.
“To be fair, he got two crunch knocks. The first one came when India were under a little bit more pressure. He and Shreyas had a lovely partnership. He scored a hundred in the second innings, albeit a very un-Pujara innings. The speed at which he played was great to watch and it was his personal fastest hundred. So, he deserved to be the man of the match,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.
Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav was named Player of the Match for claiming eight wickets in the match, a fifer in the first innings and three in the second to dismantle Bangladesh’s middle-order on a placid surface.
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While Karthik said that Pujara’s return to form is a good sign for India moving forward in the Australia Test series which will be crucial for them to find a place in the final.
“Pujara’s runs are a certain fixed deposit and a nice metaphor to use because the chances of it going wrong are very less and if he gets going, it gives you a certain stability. People can bat at good strike rates around and he is a thorn in the flesh. Even in Australia, how he troubles the Australian bowlers. Hence, it’s a good sign moving towards the Australia series and the WTC final if Pujara can keep his form and keep churning out runs like this Test match,” he said.
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