On a track that had been very difficult to bat on an hour earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara played an innings that some of those before him in the Indian team would have been proud to play. You judge a player as much by the runs he scores as by the occasion.
And by the looks of it, Pujara seems to have the temperament of a big moment player; for while it was important to possess the ability to play on this surface, it was his temperament that was so wonderful to see. I have often written about how unflappable he looks and that showed in what could have been a tricky chase. Now to take care of those knees!
Right through this series we have been talking about Ravindra Jadeja, and to see him grow as a bowler has been magnificent. There is very little
difference in the release of the ball between the one that turns and the other that goes straight through, and in the space of a few minutes he demonstrated that with the wickets of Steve Smith and Mitchell Johnson.
I think his strength lies in not doing too much, and believe me, that is a strength because the conditions can sometimes seduce you. Jadeja keeps it simple and, especially in these conditions, that is an admirable trait. In more demanding conditions, he will be called upon to show different skills but he seems as good as anyone on these pitches.
They are very different people, these two young men from Saurashtra. One is quiet, almost spiritual, you hardly hear him and, unless he changes dramatically in the years to come, expect his bat to speak for him. The other is flamboyant, likes being in the thick of it all and is not averse to being in the spotlight. But when it mattered for India both came up trumps.
There were many heroes for India in this series: Dhoni, Vijay, Pujara, Ashwin, Jadeja, Dhawan, but in all fairness, the performance that you will remember the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2013 for came from the captain himself.
It was the innings he will be remembered by long after he has finished with Tests.
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