Adelaide: Having done his bit with the willow, Cheteshwar Pujara said India's strong reply meant the visitors' young batsmen have proven themselves on the third day of the first cricket Test versus Australia here today.
After Australia declared their first innings at the overnight score of 517/7, India finished the day at 369/5 with Virat Kohli making his seventh Test hundred and Pujara himself scoring a fine 73. "We discussed yesterday that we needed to fight back in the match," said Pujara after the day's play.
"We talked about what they have scored on this pitch and the kind of wicket this is. We discussed that given the batting line up we have we can surely achieve this. Overall we have a very good, young batting line up and it was about proving ourselves. We did that and we are in good position to achieve our targets," he added.
This was Pujara's only second half-century in the last 16 Test innings, with the last one coming in England where he had a miserable time on tour. Thereafter he had done a stint with county side Derbyshire to improve his batting and it finally paid off.
"I have prepared hard for this tour. I believe in preparation and even though I just scored 73 runs, I am quite happy with how it worked out for me. Earlier, at times I have been getting good starts but have not been able to capitalise on them," said the Saurashtra batsman.
"You cannot possibly score double hundreds all the time. But the intention is to keep trying to score as many runs as possible. You also have to respect the opposition. When I do get out, I analyse what went wrong and what are the areas I can work on to become a better player."
Pujara is well aware that conditions Down Under are quite different from rest of the world. "The conditions here are quite different from the ones in Derbyshire. But playing there helped me obviously. When you play there in England, you have fast bowlers swinging the ball all the time because they get help from the wicket.
"You have to be technically correct all the time to survive there and so it does help," he said.