Cheteshwar Pujara came up with a fluent 166 against India Green to power India Blue to 707 at stumps on Day 2 of the Duleep Trophy clash at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground on Monday (September 5). However, the right-hander acknowledged that it was little difficult to pick the variations under lights.
“Even when I was facing spinners, it was very difficult to pick the googly under lights,” Pujara revealed. “A little difficult to pick the seam on the pink ball.
“This was my first game with the pink ball. I enjoyed batting on this wicket. There wasn’t much help for the fast bowlers. The most difficult session was the third session [on the first day], under lights, when they took the second new ball. It moved around and came on faster.”
India Blue’s score came on the back of a troika of centuries from Mayank Agarwal, Puajara and Sheldon Jackson. After Agarwal and Gautam Gambhir stitched a 212-run opening stand on the first day, Pujara and Jackson continued to frustrate the India Green bowlers on the second day with good support from Dinesh Karthik and Karn Sharma.
Jackson was eventually dismissed for a 114-ball 105 and confirmed that the new pink-ball poses a lot more challenges to the batsman. “The wicket was good and the ball was coming on nicely,” he said. “When the new ball comes, it gets difficult [to sight it] because the speed changes, the ball skids on at good pace, so making the minor adjustment takes a little bit of time.
“Every match I score is important, but to score in such matches is very important because it is live and people are watching. It [the surface] should behave a little differently on days 3 and 4. Both the sides [of the ball] are scuffed up a little bit.”