India vs Australia: Uncanny similarity in India’s Adelaide Test heroes of 2003 and 2018
India vs Australia: The hero in both these victories was a batsman and that too the one who came out to bat at the crucial number 3 position. Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara’s knocks in these two matches have a lot of similarities.
Adelaide has been a happy hunting ground for visiting Indian teams as they have registered important victories at the venue across all formats. The biggest of them have come in Test cricket, first in 2003 and now in 2018. Both these victories were a result of an all-round team performance and came about after a tough fight in the fourth innings.
The only difference was that India were chasing a tricky target in the fourth innings in 2003, while the 2018 victory was made possible by the bowlers, who had the job of bowling the Aussies out on the final day.
The hero in both these victories was a batsman and that too the one who came out to bat at the crucial number 3 position. In 2003 it was Rahul Dravid, who led India’s charge with a brilliant 233 in the first innings and then followed it up with an unbeaten 73 in the second innings to guide the tourists to victory.
Similarly in 2018, India were kept afloat in the first innings due to a fighting century (123) from the willow of number 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. He would return in the second innings to score 71 and help India set the Aussies a target in excess of 300 runs.
Both Dravid and Pujara slammed their 16th Test century in the first innings of these Tests and also scored a half-century in the second innings, which led to an Indian win.
The similarities don’t end here, Pujara completed 5000 Test runs during the first innings of the match. Both Pujara and Dravid are now tied fifth fastest Indian to the milestone as they both took 108 innings to reach there.
There have been comparisons between the two ever since Dravid retired from the game and Pujara took over as India’s number 3 batsman. In terms of temperament, Pujara has the ability to grind it out in the middle and take the fight out of opposition attacks with his dour defensive techniques, just like the young Dravid.
The former India captain perhaps had more shots in his array and was better at keeping the scoreboard ticking. But wait, Pujara just showed us in Adelaide that he too can hit out if he wishes too.
Indian cricket fans would only hope that Pujara has an equally glorious career as Dravid and goes on to win as many matches for the team as the legend did.
First Published: Dec 11, 2018 07:42:19