Ind v SL: Cheteshwar Pujara, Angelo Mathews come away with fifties

Updated: Nov 19, 2017, 11:25 IST | Arup Chatterjee

Temperament was always going to be the most important companion in the current conditions at the Eden Gardens

Temperament was always going to be the most important companion in the current conditions at the Eden Gardens, and Cheteshwar Pujara (in pic) and Angelo Mathews have shown what it takes to survive and score on a wicket that kept baring its teeth at batsmen. Calming nerves and coming away with fifties, the two have given their respective teams a foothold in the opening Test here between India and Sri Lanka.

Cheteshwar  PujaraCheteshwar Pujara

Significantly, both sounded enthusiastic over the 'opportunity' to face the challenge. "I love playing on challenging wickets; it suits my temperament and technique," declared Pujara, who scored a patient 52 to anchor India's innings. "When the situation is such, I tell myself that I have to stay strong today and show my character."
All-rounder Mathews, who has put his bowling on 'hold', reminded that they knew what was coming. "Once in a while you play on such wickets and you get to test yourself, your skills," he gushed, before going on to heap praise on the bowlers, Suranga Lakmal in particular, for exploiting the conditions.

It has been a frustrating year for the former Lanka skipper. "I've been in and out of the side because of injuries, and it's not easy to find rhythm or momentum. I've had a good run since 2013 but my body is taking a toll now. I've temporarily stopped bowling in Tests just to manage my workload and see how it goes," he explained.
Though the visitors are just eight runs away from going past their total, Pujara is optimistic about India's chances. "We're confident of that we'll get them out early. If we get enough overs, we have a chance of winning this game," he said, and felt "172 is a decent total with the wicket behaving the way it was in the last two days".

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