x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

India v Australia: Cheteshwar Pujara provides some breathing space

Cheteshwar Pujara 's double hundred saw India to a huge score of 503 in their first innings as they've built quite a lead on Australia in the second Test.

India's Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates with teammates after dismissing New Zealand's Daniel Flynn during the third day of their second Test cricket match last month. Vivek Prakash / Reuters
India's Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates with teammates after dismissing New Zealand's Daniel Flynn during the third day of their second Test cricket match last month. Vivek Prakash / Reuters

Cheteshwar Pujara believes India are in a great position to wrap up victory in the second Test against Australia in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Australia will start the fourth day on 74 for two in their second innings, still 192 runs behind India after Pujara's 204 saw India to a huge score of 503 in their first innings.

The spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed the wickets of David Warner (26) and Phil Hughes for a duck and Pujara, who injured a knee in a fall on Sunday, said in a press conference: "I think there is a bit of help for the spinners now. It started turning little more and the odd ball is jumping so it is good for spinners."

Pujara's double hundred came just three months after he scored an unbeaten 206 against England, and the in-form batsman added: "When you play for the country and score hundred it is a different kind of satisfaction."

Of his approach to his innings and his partnership of 370 for the second wicket with Murali Vijay, who struck 167, he said: "I just wanted to hang around [after his injury]. Afterwards I was much better and could concentrate on my batting as well. I think the injury is settling down and I hope that I will be better. Later on once I scored my hundred I was set. I was seeing the ball well. I just wanted to play my natural game. I didn't try doing anything extra."

Australia had the consolation of running through India's lower order once Pujara and Vijay had departed to ensure they still have a small chance of levelling the series. They lost their last seven wickets for just 110 runs, with MS Dhoni, the India captain, scoring a quick-fire 44 off just 43 balls.

Glenn Maxwell picked up four wickets on his Test debut, finishing with figures of four for 127.

Xavier Doherty, who was playing his first Test for two years, finished with three for 131.

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