After conceding a huge 354-run lead in the first innings, India were down and out in the ongoing third Test at Headingley. There were not much expectations from the visiting side considering how they batted on Day 1. When KL Rahul was dismissed at stroke of lunch, all the little expectations also faded with India's centurion at Lord's and one of their most in-form batsman departing early.
With his side in such a state, came in an out-of-form batsman who was playing to retain his side in the playing XI for next match. Cheteshwar Pujara has had a torrid outing in England so far but the right-handed batsman looked like a completely different player altogether on Friday. Unlike his usual defensive approach, the 33-year-old showed some positive intent in early part of his innings as he hit flurry of boundaries, leaving everyone stunned.
Pujara ends the day on 91* off 180 deliveries
India's No. 3 finally looked rock-solid once again as he started to begin a heroic comeback for India, alongside Rohit Sharma. Despite the dismissal of Hitman, Pujara stuck to his task and kept on piling runs with Virat Kohli also providing him with some good support at the other end. The 33-year-old eventually ended the day unbeaten on 91* off 180 deliveries, smashing 15 boundaries during his knock.
However, there was one boundary which was a true reflection of Pujara's aggressive attitude on the day. Towards the end of the day, Moeen Ali pitched in a short-delivery which deserved to go to the boundary. Not sure what the old version of Pujara would have done to that but the Headingley version of Pujara was in no mood to not accept the gift.
He smashed a powerful pull-shot towards square-leg as the ball went just over the head of umpire Richard Kettleborough. The 48-year-old showed good reflexes to duck and get away from the line of the ball which went sailing towards the boundary.
Watch the video here:
India eventually ended the day at 215/2 in 80 overs at stumps on Day 3, still trailing by 139 runs. With the experienced duo of Kohli and Pujara at the crease, the responsibility lies on their shoulders to come up with an extraordinary performance on Saturday to give Indian an opportunity to pave their way back into the match.