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Indian Pujara keeps on keeping on

Cheteshwar Pujara has become the first Indian to twice face more than 1000 balls in a Test series against Australia after defying the local attack again.

Indian Pujara keeps on keeping on

Cheteshwar Pujara has become the first Indian to twice face more than 1000 balls in a Test series against Australia after defying the local attack again.

India batsman CHETESHWAR PUJARA drives during the Test Match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England.
India batsman CHETESHWAR PUJARA drives during the Test Match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England. Picture:Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

You can surely add Indian batting machine Cheteshwar Pujara to flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes as the biggest summertime irritants to Australians.

The broad face of Pujara's at times seemingly impassable bat, must loom large in the nightmares of Australia's bowling quartet after he reached another century and achieved another landmark on day one of the fourth Test in Sydney on Thursday.


The insatiable top order linchpin became the first Indian to twice face over 1000 deliveries in a series against Australia having soaked up 1069 in the four-match home series in 2017.

He reached three figures for the fourth time in the last six first innings he has played against Australia and by stumps had faced 1132 balls in this series.

Pujara has already faced well over twice as many balls as any Australian in the series, with Usman Khawaja heading the locals with a mere 509 deliveries.

Solely dedicated to the Test format and with none of the frippery of one day or T20 cricket to distract him, Pujara seems determined to bat for as long as possible.

He reached his 50 just before tea, after taking three fours off leg spinner Marnus Labuschagne's first over and more than doubled his score in a fruitful final session to finish unbeaten on 130.

Pujara's relentless dedication to his craft prompted one of the better pieces of banter heard in Australia this summer.

"Aren't you bored yet?" Australian spinner Nathan Lyon said to him, shortly after Pujara reached his ton.

Keeping Pujuara company for most of the first half of the day was Test rookie Mayank Agarwal, who dominated the scoring in their second wicket stand of 116.

Agarwal followed scores of 76 and 42 in his maiden Test in Melbourne with 77 at the SCG and said it was great to watch Pujara from the other end.

"The way he grinds the bowlers ... he understands his strengths," Agarwal said.

"He knows he's very tight with his defence and he looks to do that and waits for the bad ball to come.

"As far as the partnership is concerned, he keeps talking.

"With his experience he tells me what they are probably looking to do."

PUJARA'S LAST SIX FIRST INNINGS SCORES AGAINST AUSTRALIA

* 202 - Ranchi, March 2017

* 57 - Dharamsala March 2017

* 123 - Adelaide, December 2018

* 24 - Perth, December 2018

* 106, Melbourne, December 2018

* 130 not out, Sydney January 2019

* 6 innings, 1 not out runs 642 average 128.4.

AAP


AAP




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