In contrast to the mentality that the English team showed in the second Test at Lord’s, where they went into their second innings trying to save the Test and succumbed, the Indian batting line-up took the 354-run deficit in the third Test head-on with grafter Cheteshwar Pujara playing in a much higher gear than he is used to.
“This innings of ours was never about survival. We had an intent to score runs and Pujara clearly showed that. The way he got off the mark and carried on from there,” said opener Rohit Sharma, who made a patient 61 and shared an 82-run partnership with Pujara (batting on 91).
Pujara went at a strike rate of 100 soon after arrival and outpaced Sharma, who is more used to playing aggressively.
“Anything loose, he was ready to pounce on it. So that helps when you have that short of intent — any loose deliveries will not be spared,” added Sharma to the media.
He added, “Yes, he definitely came with an intent to score runs.”
“It was not the easiest of situations to go and bat, when you are 300 down and to bat the way he (Pujara) batted shows the character of an individual and shows the mindset of the individual.”
The batsman admitted that India batted poorly in the first innings and therefore, folded for just 78.
“To be honest we batted poorly in the first innings. It was definitely not a 78 pitch. We batted poorly. It was as simple as that. As a unit we accepted that. We corrected our mistakes in the second innings, which is why we are in this position right now,” he said further.
“It is all about how you learn from your mistakes. It is about how we can learn from mistakes. Hopefully, we can put our heads down and bat as long as possible.”