India Vs SA 3rd Test: Men in Blue Vow To Bounce Back

However, with the Proteas losing opener Aiden Markram early in their first innings, Pujara asserted that a fighting performance by the Indian pacers may prove to be crucial. - Sakshi Post

Johannesburg: The Indian batsmen may have been dismissed for a paltry total in the first innings of the third cricket Test against South Africa here on Wednesday, but Cheteshwar Pujara is confident that the visitors are still in with a chance.

The visitors continued their poor show with the bat in the first two Tests and were bundled out for 187 runs on the opening day at the Wanderers Stadium here.

Pujara, dismissed on 50, was one of only three Indian batsmen along with skipper Virat Kohli (54) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (30) to reach double figures.

However, with the Proteas losing opener Aiden Markram early in their first innings, Pujara asserted that a fighting performance by the Indian pacers may prove to be crucial.

"It was one of the toughest pitches I've batted on. I really had to work hard to score runs. Overall, we batted well. The runs on the board are sufficient and we can bowl them out. I think it's a good batting effort at the end of the day," Pujara told the media at the end of the day's play.

Kohli and Pujara struck contrasting half centuries as they added 84 runs between them in an attempt to bail out their team.

Pointing out that the pitch is not easy to bat on, Pujara opined that the South African batsmen will struggle to score as well.

"A lot of deviation and it was initially very slow, but there was enough bounce in the pitch. There was a lot of lateral movement and a lot of deviation off the cracks. This was tougher than the Cape Town surface. We were just surviving out there," he said.

"A good partnership (with Virat) but we were getting beaten too. You're never really in on this wicket and if we bowl well, we are in with a good chance. I think our current total is as good as scoring 300 on a normal pitch and we are used to bowling better lengths than the South Africans. I think it is very difficult to get our bowlers away if they bowl in those areas," he added. (IANS)


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