India vs South Africa, 2nd Test: Fresh oxygen to Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane’s careers | Cricket News – Times of India

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It was make-or-break time for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. They knew a failure within the second innings of the second Test on the Bullring would result in critical query marks over the way forward for their worldwide careers. Additionally, India too, would discover themselves in a weak place, particularly after shedding openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal early.
But it was their counter-attacking method, each on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, that helped them get their respective half-centuries. They put up 111 runs for the third wicket that gave India the platform to push for a victory.

It’s true that the curler had its impact within the first hour and the pitch wasn’t taking part in up as a lot as was the case within the first two days. But it takes nothing away from the truth that there was a component of fearless, counter-attacking method about Pujara and Rahane’s method that helped India rating shortly on Day 3 and put the strain proper again on South Africa.
“When you are under pressure, it’s better to not get into a shell. . . you should counter-attack. On a pitch like this, one ball will have your name written on it, therefore it makes no sense to just try and survive. It’s good that Rahane and Pujara understood that,” former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth informed TOI.

After struggling in opposition to the bounce of the South African pacers within the first innings, each seemed to play the reduce which paid wealthy dividends. “That’s all the time the shot to play on a pitch like this. Gundappa Viswanath was a grasp of that shot and that is why he received these essential runs on onerous and bouncy tracks,” Srikkanth stated.
The one advantage of each Rahane and Pujara was that they weren’t uptight. Having the expertise of taking part in for therefore lengthy, they exuded confidence that had the South African bowlers in a little bit of a quandary. While the full-pitched ball was getting pushed, the reduce and the pull in opposition to the brief ball made them wrestle for the fitting size.
For some time, the 2 raised visions of that 222-run counter-attacking partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammed Azharuddin in Cape Town within the New Year Test of 1997. From being 5-58, Tendulkar and Azhar had launched a vicious assault on Allan Donald & Co, each scoring centuries within the course of, despite the fact that the Test could not be saved.
“In that Test, the crew was underneath strain after shedding the primary Test badly. But Sachin and Azhar themselves weren’t underneath scrutiny. Here Rahane and Pujara had been taking part in to save lots of their careers, however the crew was in a relatively higher place,” WV Raman, who performed that Test match, analysed.
What happy Raman about Pujara’s method on Wednesday was the truth that he was on the lookout for runs. “For a while he had stopped looking for runs at the start and his only intention had been to defend. In this innings, he didn’t do that and looked for scoring options,” Raman added.
The two would have appreciated to hold on and convert their 50s into centuries. But on a pitch that had a lot in it for pacers, this partnership ought to give the veteran duo the required oxygen to combat on for some time longer.

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