Having not scored a hundred for nearly three years, Cheteshwar Pujara had the prime opportunity to bring up the three-figure mark in the first innings of the first Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram. However, a stunning delivery from Taijul Islam sold Pujara ten runs short of his dream, shattering all kind of hopes.
But Pujara came out strong in the second innings, where he took on the spinners in what was an uncharacteristic innings. Not only did Pujara break his drought, he got to the three-figure mark in 130 balls, even playing a reverse-sweep in process. In the aftermath of the innings, the veteran insisted that he never expected to get to the three-figure mark.
"It was special. I never expected that I would get to the three-figure mark in the second innings. By tea, I was close to 50 but I never realised there was enough time to get to a hundred. It went really well; I have been practicing some shots so it really helped me in this particular game,” Pujara said.
The 34-year-old reckoned that the first innings knock, where he was out on 90 was more special to him than the hundred he scored in the second innings.
“For me, the special knock was the first innings one where I missed out on a hundred but it was an important knock for the team," Pujara added.
India still have an opportunity to qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, but for that, they will have to put the right foot forward against Australia, in the four-match Test series.
"We'll have to work hard. We'll have to be disciplined and hopefully we'll win at least 3 out of 4 to qualify for the WTC final," mentioned Pujara.