India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has said that the pain from the bruises he sustained in the Brisbane Test didn’t let allow him to sleep much at night after the match got over, in an interview with The Indian Express.
One of the lasting memories of India’s unforgettable, series-clinching victory at the Gabba will surely be the sight of Pujara taking one blow after another to defy the Australian pace bowlers and keep India in the game.
The 32-year-old took as many as 11 blows to different parts of his body, which included his head, chest, back, shoulder, fingers, thigh and elbow, during his heroic 56 off 211 that went a long way in India pulling off a sensational victory in the fourth and final Test against Australia in Brisbane.
But Pujara said he is used to the pain that a leather ball can cause and he knows very well how to cope with it.
“From my early days, I am not in the habit of taking pain- killers.” Pujara said in the report. “That’s why my threshold to bear pain is pretty high. You play for so long, you get used to getting hit.”
After being the top-scorer during India’s previous Test series win Down Under, Pujara once again proved his worth by making a number of invaluable contributions for his team during the just-concluded series.
The right-hander faced 928 balls through the four matches and scored a total of 271 runs. His strike-rate may have only been 29.20 but the time he spent and the three half-centuries he got were critical to India’s success.
Pujara explained why he got hit repeatedly during the Gabba Test, saying there was a reason why he took so many deliveries on his body.
“I mostly got hit from one end and that too against (Pat) Cummins. There was this crack on the pitch around the short-of-length spot from where the ball would just take off. Cummins has the skill to make the ball rear up from there and make it follow you,” he said.
“In case I took my hand up to defend it, there was a risk that I would glove the ball. Considering the match situation and how we couldn’t afford to lose wickets, I decided to let the ball hit my body. It is tough to hold the bat, the grip was slightly loose. So you can’t hit the ball where you want to.”
Read Cheteshwar Pujara’s entire interview with The Indian Express here.