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BAN vs IND 2022-23, 1st Test: Pujara does not regret missing out on ton; believes track will get worse

Cheteshwar Pujara doesn't regret missing out on his 19th Test hundred in the first Test against Bangladesh as he would happily take his 90-run knock on a "difficult track" which he says will get worse by the day.

BAN vs IND 2022-23, 1st Test: Pujara does not regret missing out on ton; believes track will get worse snt
First Published Dec 14, 2022, 7:09 PM IST

Cheteshwar Pujara doesn't regret not reaching his 19th Test century against Bangladesh in the first Test because he would gladly take his 90-run innings on a "difficult track," which he claims will only grow harder with time.

Before India lost the dependable No. 3, Pujara and Shreyas Iyer (batting 82) accumulated 149 runs for the fifth wicket. All-rounder Axar Patel also lost three wickets quickly, and India finished the first day on 278 for 6.

Also read: BAN vs IND 2022-23, 1st Test: Shreyas 'lucky' Iyer stands tall on Day 1; leaves Twitterati in splits

"It is not an easy pitch to bat on so I am really happy with the way I batted today. Sometimes more than three figure, you look at trying to put team in a winning situation," Pujara said at the post-match media conference. 

Although Pujara hasn't recorded a century in almost four years, this is likely the most confident Pujara has appeared recently against any bowling attack.

"I am really happy today and not bothered about not getting a three-figure mark. I have been batting well and if I carry on like this, it will come soon," said the player, who is a month and half shy of his 35th birthday. 

For Pujara, the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium is a result-oriented venue where spinners will likely play a significant role in the result.

"Looks like there will be a result and we needed runs on board. My partnership with Shreyas was important and also with Rishabh as there was a time when we had lost three wickets," Pujara said. 

While he admitted that he might not have got too many runs but a first innings total of 350 could prove to be decisive. 

"If we would have ended the day at 4 or even 5 wickets, things would have been better. I still feel if we get 350 in the first innings, it will be a good score on this track as there is turn (on offer) and we have three spinners. Even when fast bowlers are bowling, the odd one is staying low. It will keep getting worse as time progresses," Pujara said providing his take on the track. 

The biggest challenge as the pitch wears on will be the variable bounce. "There was variable bounce, and the oddball kept low even with the second new ball. It is easy once the ball gets older, as bowlers also get tired. They can't keep bowling same areas for a longer time. We all know in the case of Kookaburra, the first 30 overs are important. Once you get through that phase, it is still slightly easier. But still, you need to concentrate hard," he added. 

Also read: BAN vs IND 2022-23, 1st Test: Eyes on KL Rahul's captaincy as India pushes for WTC Final berth

The worry for batters will be the oddball that is turning sharply. "It is not like all deliveries are turning. One ball per over is turning, and that is even more dangerous. That oddball that will turn back or away will get your leg before or bowled. You can't relax on this track," Pujara concluded.

(With inputs from PTI)

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