New Delhi, Nov. 26 -- Ahead of the Test, captain MS Dhoni asked for a rank turner, and though Wankhede was not as violent as he wanted, batsmen from both sides found the track too hot to handle. Still, the match produced three high-quality hundreds, each crafted with enormous skill but very different in style and character.
First, it was Cheteshwar Pujara, whose solid, no-frills hundred was monumental, built brick by brick. What stood out in this knock was his remarkable patience, the ability to rough it out in testing conditions.
Pujara batted like a seasoned craftsman, calmly putting the pieces together, someone at peace with himself, completely sure about his talent.
Kevin's Impact In a way, Alistair Cook was England's left-handed Pujara. He too was supremely patient, unruffled by viciously-spinning balls and the mob of close-in fielders.
Cook waited for the balls to hit the bat but unfailingly put away the bad balls, especially square of the wicket, which is his area of strength.
But Cook's century was put in the shade by KP, the mercurial star. Before the game, there was chatter about his weakness against spin, the reputation acquired by falling in the past to Saeed Ajmal, Pragyan Ojha and even Yuvraj Singh.
KP buried all this by responding with a masterly century, a standout, impactful innings of sheer class and brilliance.
KP is forceful and dominant, at the crease it is clear he wants to set the agenda and call the shots.
His batting is always positive, and there is more than a hint of arrogance in the way he will not allow a loose ball to go unpunished.
In contemporary cricket, KP is the powerful box office star, who connects with fans, compels them to buy tickets and come to the stadium. Like all top performers, he puts a high price on himself, and on his wicket.
The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.