Chennai: Cheteshwar Pujara thinks Sachin Tendulkar’s positive mindset made a big difference at the Chepauk on Saturday.
At close, Sachin was unbeaten on 71 as India reached 182 for three in reply to Australia’s 380.
“When Sachinpaaji came in to bat, from first ball onwards he was on the mark. He got three boundaries in the first over. So he was looking positive. I haven’t seen him in such kind of a positive mindset.
“It was a pleasure watching him. It was very important for us to build a partnership because we were 12 for two at that stage. That 93-run partnership was very crucial,” Pujara said.
Did he notice any radical change in Sachin’s mindset from the England series?
“Not really... I’ve seen him bat in the nets, the way he was timing the ball wasn’t different… Unfortunately he didn’t get runs in the England series, but there was nothing wrong in the way he was batting in the nets.
“He was timing the ball well. Before this series during the camp in Bangalore, it was a pleasure to watch the way he was batting,” he remarked.
Pujara felt Sachin’s presence helped him during their partnership for the third wicket.
“During the partnership we were talking about how the ball was going. When reverse swing started, we were communicating how a particular bowler was going for an inswinger or an outswinger. Communication was the key.”
He couldn’t hide his disappointment at being dismissed for 44 after doing all the hard work. “Yes, I am unhappy because I was set and things were going smoothly for us… Unfortunately, I got out at the wrong time. But still, we’re in a good position and I’m happy that I contributed at the right time.
Was he undone by James Pattinson’s express pace? “The ball kept a little low but I was a little late on the ball… I couldn’t sight the ball after it had come halfway, so I was a little late.
“Otherwise on Indian wickets there isn’t much pace for the bowlers, so it wasn’t because of the wicket.”
He, however, didn’t agree that the uneven bounce contributed to his dismissal. “No, I don’t think so because on Indian wickets, you expect this…
“At times you get extra bounce and at times the ball stays a bit low. But we’re used to it and it’s not a big problem for us.”
Pattinson’s pace has, no doubt, impressed Pujara. “So far I think Pattinson was the best. They were getting reverse swing but we were prepared for it. “We know that their strength is fast bowling and that they’d be relying mostly on reverse swing because in Indian conditions there is not much seam movement.
“They were trying to get the ball old as early as possible and get the reverse swing going.”