Former England player-turned-commentator David Lloyd said Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was “flowing positively” in Headingley after a lean run in the ongoing Test series against England. He added that the England bowlers faltered in their execution against Pujara, thus giving him a chance to score runs.
At stumps on day three, Pujara was unbeaten on 91 off 180 balls as India were 215/2 in 80 overs. The 33-year-old kept a positive approach from the start of his innings. For the first time since January 2019, Pujara has entered the 90s and is nine short of his 19th Test century.
“Cheteshwar Pujara has had a lean time in this series, because England have done for him on and around off stump. But on Friday all the bowlers looked exasperated as they kept bowling leg side to him. It’s exactly where he wants it!” wrote Lloyd in his column for Daily Mail on Saturday.
“Make no mistake: he’s a real sticker, and has taken over from Rahul Dravid in this team. But in this innings, he was positively flowing. Whether they were looking for extravagant swing or not, they lost their discipline,” further said Lloyd.
Lloyd observed that the bowling conditions were perfect for England bowlers to take many wickets. But an improved show with the bat for India stopped them from doing so.
“Bowling conditions were absolutely perfect, if slightly chilly, which may be significant. But the cloud was low, and the lights were on. On a different day, England could have had a hatful of wickets, with the ball repeatedly passing the outside edge.”
“In fact, it was just like the first day, when the ball did take the edge. But you’ve got to admire the resolution of technique of India’s batsmen, who played the situation and got stuck in,” concluded Lloyd.
India are currently leading the five-match Test series 1-0 with two days left in the third Test at Headingley.