India’s veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara has stated that the team is optimistic that the Wanderers’ pitch will deteriorate on the penultimate day of the second Test match at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. India needs another eight wickets to win the second Test while South Africa needs another 122 runs for the victory.
Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen are settled at the crease and the first hour of day four is going to be crucial for both sides. Indian bowlers were not able to get much help from the surface in the final session of the third day and the visitors will expect more help from the track, which has produced unpredictable bounce thus far in the game.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that India will need to strike early on Day four if they are to make a match out of this.
“Always important to get some runs as a batsman, especially on challenging pitches where you can’t score big runs. It’s been challenging and we have run on the board, so it is very balanced. Although we didn’t take too many wickets, we are confident that the pitch will deteriorate tomorrow,” Cheteshwar Pujara told reporters after the third day’s play in Johannesburg.
It hasn’t been the easiest of pitches to bat but Dean Elgar scored an unbeaten knock of 46 runs after facing 121 balls. Elgar showed all the gumption in the final session and Pujara reckons it will be imperative for them to dismiss the Proteas captain as soon as possible.
“The way he bats, it looks like there will be a catch coming into the slips. Every time he makes a lot of runs and gives his team a good start. Hopefully, he will get out quickly. He has a different technique and temperament and it looks weird sometimes but he makes runs and we have to get him out quickly,” Pujara added.
On the other hand, Rishabh Pant played a rash shot and was dismissed for a duck. Pujara added that the coaches will have a word with him regarding his dismissal and he will improve with experience.
“We keep having conversations with the coaches about batting, some technical aspect or the other. It is very necessary so you can understand your own game, which shot you can play and which you cannot. Rishabh has done well for us. We know how he plays. He is young and he will learn from here with regards to which shot to play or not to play. As he moves forward he will improve as a player,” Pujara further said.
Meanwhile, Pujara scored 53 runs and played a key role in helping India extend their lead to 239 runs.