Free Press Journal

Pujara and Saha partnership is the best I have seen: Virat Kohli


Praises Marsh, Handscomb for averting Australian defeat

Ranchi : India captain Virat Kohli was on Monday effusive in his praise for Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha’s record 199-run stand, saying that it was the “best” partnership he has ever seen.

Pujara (202) and Saha (117) steered India to 603 for nine against Australia and gave the team a substantial 152-run lead in the third cricket Test, which eventually ended in a draw.

“KL Rahul (67) and Murali Vijay (82) batted beautifully but the partnership between Pujara and Saha is the best I have seen,” said Kohli at the post match presentation ceremony. Kohli said that his team got itself into a very good position where they could have enforced a victory.

“We got ourselves into a very good position,” Kohli said after the match.

“Losing the toss here was never easy. Not being able to take the field and watching the opposition get big runs was difficult. But we batted beautifully.

“We didn’t expect a 150-run lead. Yesterday two wickets, we thought we had a good chance, but credit to the two batsmen, they batted really well. Guys want to push the barrier, their physical limits, their mental toughness,” he added.

Kohli credited Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb with preventing an Australian defeat in the third Test, adding that although the hosts got into a winning position it was their excellent batting that forced the draw.

“Credit to Australia for playing out the draw, but we played ourselves into a position where we could win.”

Marsh and Handscomb stitched together a 124-run partnership for the fifth wicket after India went into the lunch break with their tails up as the tourists were tottering at 83/4. The visitors finally ended the day on 204/6.

Kohli said that left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who returned a match haul of 9/178, was “unbelievable”.

“I don’t know about the lot of balls. Jadeja is unbelievable. He is a gun in the field too. I have never seen anyone bowl so economically for so long ever.”

The fourth and final Test will now take place at Dharamsala from March 25-29 with the series locked at 1-1.–PTI