India poised to win second Test: Pujara


Star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Sunday asserted that India were well poised to win the ongoing second cricket Test as England will not find it easy to chase the 405-run target on the fifth and final day.

India were all out for 204 runs in their second innings on the fourth day, setting a victory target of 405 runs for England.

The visitors lost openers Alistair Cook and Haseeb Hameed to post 87/2 by the end of the day. They are currently trailing by 318 runs.

“When you have 400 runs on the board it is not easy to chase in India. Chasing 400 runs on day four and five is always difficult. Not many teams have done that. So I don’t think England will find it easy to manage that,” Pujara told reporters after the end of the day’s play on Sunday.

“We definitely have a very good chance so we will go hard tomorrow.”

The spinners were able to extract good amount of turn on the penultimate day while the occasional ball kept low, causing a lot of problems for the batsmen.

With the pitch also developing a few cracks, Pujara felt that the England batsmen will have their task cut out for them on the final day.

“Obviously, when we are playing in India we expect the ball to keep low. Even if you bat defensively on this track, it will not be easy. Like we saw today, the ball is keeping low sometimes. So even if they try to be defensive, I don’t think it will be an easy task,” the right-hand batsman said.

“We have very clear plans. It will be a tough day for them. But things won’t come easy for us also. We know that. So we won’t take things for granted. We will definitely have to come hard at them. We are prepared for it.

“When it comes to Test cricket as a team we are prepared to be in a situation where we have to work hard for our wickets,” he added.

The 28-year-old asserted that the Indians are happy with their performance on Sunday as they have managed to implement most of their strategy and have taken the upper hand.

“We are happy with the way things went. We got two wickets. We knew that it won’t be easy to get them out. But we had our plans and we knew what we wanted to do. Ultimately we achieved what we wanted.

“We got two wickets at the end of the day. I don’t think day five will be easy to bat on. Cracks are opening up and it will be difficult. Even day three third session was difficult. So I feel it won’t be an easy wicket to bat on,” Pujara said.

The ongoing series is the first time that the Indian team have agreed to use the much-debated Decision Review System (DRS). Pujara revealed that the Indian team management have devised extensive plans on how to utilise the DS to their advantage.

“We all sat together and decided how we should take calls on the DRS. Specially when we are fielding. The bowlers will call for the DRS and even when we are batting, we have a clear plan. Specially both the batsmen will decide whether to take the review or not. So as a team we are very clear about it,” he said.



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