Star India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara heaped rich praise on Virat Kohli after the skipper became the 1st batsman from the country to hit a hundred in a Pink ball Test.
Virat Kohli had spoken at length about the challenges of facing the pink ball but he looked at ease against the Bangladesh bowlers on Day 2 of the ongoing Day-night Test in Kolkata.
India vs Bangladesh, Pink ball Test, Day 2: Highlights
Kohli made 136, hitting 18 boundaries in a stroke-filled innings that gave India a 41-run lead on Saturday. The India captain played with a lot of discipline as he limited most of his shots to the ‘V’ area.
It needed a stunning catch in the deep from Bangladesh spinner Taijul Islam to send Virat Kohli walking back to the hut.
Virat Kohli also went past Steve Smith on the list of batsmen with most hundreds in Test cricket. Kohli is now tied at the 17 spot alongside South Africa’s Graeme Smith and Australia’s Allan Border who also have 27 Test hundreds.
Speaking to the press in Kolkata, Pujara said: “He [Kohli] batted really well. He is someone who has been scoring lots of runs in all formats. It’s always good to see him score the runs. I am very sure he will be pleased with this pink-ball hundred.”
India are on the verge of winning the historic Test by a big margin as Bangladesh were reeling at 152 for 6 at Stumps on Day 2. After Kohli’s masterclass, Ishant Sharma continued from where he left in the second innings.
In the twilight period where batting was difficult for both sides, Ishant worked his magic with the pink ball and reduced Bangladesh to 13 for 4 in their second innings. Ishant has match figures of 9/61 and he has a chance to pick up his 2nd 10-wicket haul in Tests.
Players are loving the Pink ball Test atmosphere: Pujara
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara also said it’s encouraging for the players, especially the fast bowlers, to see packed crowds in the Pink ball Test.
As expected, fans in Kolkata turned up in huge numbers for the inaugural Pink ball Test in India. The Eden Gardens was packed to the rafters on the 1st 2 days of the ongoing Test.
“It’s motivating to see a packed crowd supporting us. I think Test cricket is still alive and this was one of the occasions which will boost Test cricket,” Pujara said.
“As players, we enjoy this atmosphere. When we are fielding, when we are batting we are always concentrating on the next ball. However, the bowlers need a lot of support and when we are fielding and the moment the crowd starts supporting us, the bowlers are always charged up.
“Although the game might not go on till Day 4, it’s a good experience. I am sure the crowd is also enjoying this momentous occasion.”
Why were so many Bangladesh batsmen hit on the helmet
Bangladesh batsmen have so far found India pacers too good to handle with the pink ball. They have been hit on the helmet umpteen times in the ongoing Test. In fact, Bangladesh became the 1st Test-playing nation to use 2 concussion substitutes in a Test when they lost Litton Das and Nayeem Hossain to concussion injuries.
On Saturday, Bangladesh star batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was hit on the helmet but he carried on and remained unbeaten on 59 at Stumps.
Speaking about the increase in instance of batsmen being hit on the helmet in the Pink ball Test, Pujara said the light and the colour of the ball have played a role in the spike.
“I thought the light and pink ball had a role to play. As a batsman, it is not easy to pick the short balls, especially at the kind of pace our bowlers have bowled. It’s not easy. Their batters, as far as I know, haven’t even played any 1st-class games with the pink ball. So it’s not easy,” Pujara said.