Indians fret over Pujara injury


Mohali: India's hopes for a perfect build-up to the third Test have been dented with Cheteshwar Pujara taking a painful knock on his left knee while batting in the nets at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday.

With the rival camp in disarray, the hosts seemed to be enjoying a calm training session. However, the batsman who scored a brilliant double century to help clinch an innings victory, limped off after being struck by a net bowler.

Pujara has issues with his knees, having undergone surgeries on both of them last year to rectify congenital defects.

In the Hyderabad Test, he braved a hamstring injury suffered early in his innings to score 204 and amass 370 for the second wicket with opener Murali Vijay.

The 24-year-old sat with an ice-pack wrapped around his knee and looked grim. He did not take part in the fielding drills that followed, and instead called the team physio to the dressing room.

India will hope it is not serious as the Australia pacers will go into the Mohali Test as a hopeful lot because the pitch, though shorn of grass, will afford much more bounce than at Chennai and Hyderabad, the venues for the first two Tests.

Attention on Bhajji

There was lot of attention on Harbhajan Singh, the home off-spinner.

Skipper MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar constantly spoke to him, demonstrating the ideal line he should bowl to regain his wicket-taking abilities.

Harbhajan, whose line of attack is leg and middle stump, was then seen bowling flighted deliveries outside off-stump.

India, leading the series 2-0, can seal the issue in Mohali although the Aussies will be encouraged by a bit of bounce and carry the pitch has always afforded to fast bowlers.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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