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10 January, 2021

India Brace For 3 2018-19 Like Pujara Sessions From One End To Save Test

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Cheteshwar, according to Hindu faith means Lord Shiva, who is also
Rahane & Pujara. Pic courtesy: AP / IndianExpress

renowned for meditation and time. 

As per, the letters in Cheteshwar starting with 'C' mean Capability, Hope, Self-control, Resilience among others.

Team India is in desperate need of these qualities in their batsman by the same name when they take the field on Day 5 of the 3rd Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane and coach Ravi Shastri wouldn't mind revisiting moments from their 2018-19 Test series triumph over Australia at home.

They'd pray Pujara gets into another Lord Shiva like meditation mode and holds up one end for three full sessions. It'll be up to seven other wickets (Ravindra Jadeja's participation continues to be doubtful after he suffered a fracture and dislocation of his left thumb) to prop up the other end until the final ball is bowled.

The 309 runs required to win have no significance for India now. It did, when Rohit Sharma the Hitman, and the sublime Shubman Gill opened India's 'Save Test' quest. 

Australia left India an unbelievable 407 runs to win. However, the Sharma-Gill partnership raised hopes of a positive outcome for India. Together they put on a 71-run stand, their back-to-back 50-run partnership.

Such skillful negotiation and scoring off the bowling of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathin Lyon was being viewed as a sign of dramatic comeback by India before both batsmen departed.

"When adversities grow, the team comes together," ESPNCricinfo quoted Ravichandran Ashwin saying at the end of Day 4.

It's now up to Rahane, coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathour to strategize the most viable escape plan with the resources available. This is another opportunity for the entire entourage, without regular skipper Virat Kohli (back home on paternity leave), moreso, the playing 11 to come together and chart out a success plan.

Here are 3 strategies India may use to stymie Australia's progress from going 2-1 in this 4-Test series.

1. Assign Pujara the role to hold up one end

The team thinktank will have to help Pujara prepare his mindset on holding up one end, with Hanuma Vihari as stand-by or back-up.

If Pujara succeeds, good for India and the nation's cricket fans. This way, the team can ask Rahane to do the attacking and frustrate the opposition bowlers.

If Pujara fails, Vihari who almost bats like Pujara, needs to take up his place and play the blockathon role.

2. Promote Rishabh Pant if Rahane falls

If Pujara is shoring up one end and Rahane falls, India will do well to promote left-hander Pant ahead of Vihari.

This would mean they have an attacking batsman at the crease along with another whose role is to block one end.

3. Promote Bumrah up the order

India would do well to send Bumrah ahead of Ashwin to bat.

Happy New Year - All Jewelry 75% OFFBumrah was asked to perform the nightwatchman's role recently. He looks to show better intent than Ashwin when called upon to help the team's cause.

Ashwin, meanwhile, could be asked to assume the leadership role when batting down the order along with tail-enders Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj.

Overall, it is possible for India to clinch a draw. You may call it requirement of a "Will issue" more than "Skill issue". 

Every India batsman who steps on the field on the final day needs to display the "Will issue" unlike Rohit Sharma, who looked brilliant during the first 10 overs of India's second innings.

You could clearly see him getting restless, for a single, for staying at the crease longer. This restlessness grew when Pujara rejected a second run that Rohit felt was there to be taken.

The Hitman's patience wore out finally when he recklessly skied a Pat Cummins short pitched delivery into the waiting hands of Mitchell Starc.

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Call it the bad effects or influence of Limited Overs and T20 cricket. However, when you are playing for your country and you have Kohli -- star in all three formats -- as inspiration to emulate, the positive vibes from your teammate ought to rub off on you.

For updated scorecard, click here

Cricket Australia released this message from their Twitter handle:

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