Pujara attributes enterprising century to 'intent'

For a batsman who has come under fire in the past for not maintaining momentum at No. 3 - skipper Virat Kohli has been among his critics - Cheteshwar Pujara batted with refreshing freedom on Day One of the second Test. Pujara has said he had been working on the 'intent' in his batting, after consultation with coach Anil Kumble.

The normally dour Cheteshwar Pujara reached his century with a six.   -  K. R. Deepak

It was astonishing that Cheteshwar Pujara brought up his 10th Test hundred here on Thursday with a pulled six off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

For a batsman who has come under fire in the past for not maintaining momentum at No. 3 - skipper Virat Kohli has been among his critics - Pujara batted with refreshing freedom on Day One of the second Test.

> Report: India wears England down with Kohli, Pujara show

Interestingly, it was Kohli who was with him at the crease during his innings. “It was the intent. I was having a chat with coach Anil Kumble after the West Indies series and he told me there was nothing wrong with my batting. I just had to work on my intent, he said. I have been doing that,” Pujara revealed after the day’s play.

> Slideshow: Day One in pictures

The right-hander added, “In Test cricket, you have to look at the conditions, the situation and the bowler before playing your shots.”

Pujara admitted he and Kohli did not run well between the wickets in the first session. He said, “We had a talk about it at lunch and in the next session we ran very well between the wickets, took our singles. There was no gap in communication.”

The Saurashtra batsman said the pitch was good for batting on the first day. “In Rajkot too, the pitch favoured batsmen on the first day. The pitch here could be good for batting on the second day also. After that I think it will spin,” he said.

Anderson glad to return

Comeback paceman James Anderson, who scalped three in the day, said, “It was great to be back. I have spent the last two months working really hard to get back into the side. It's been frustrating at times but it's been worth it. Getting back out there with the lads was a great feeling in itself but to get a few wickets on the board made it even better.”

Anderson spoke about how much staying away from top flight cricket hurt him. “I have missed it all, playing and taking wickets. That sort of feeling you can't get in any other walk of life – at least I struggle with it - so to get amongst it, get some wickets meant a lot.”

The pace spearhead said the new ball did not swing much and he thought utilising some dew on the surface might help. On taking out Murali Vijay with a short-pitched delivery, Anderson said, “Every time, I pitched up, he drove me. So I decided to bowl one short.”

On the surface here, Anderson said, “I'm not sure it will stay together as well as Rajkot, there are signs of it keeping low. There will be more variable bounce, we have seen a few spin, so we are in tough position and we need to have a good day with the ball and an extremely good go with the bat.”