Horses for courses, how Rajkot helped Jadeja & Pujara in Mohali
The Saurashtra boys—Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja—have been the chief architects of India's win over South Africa in the first Test in Mohali. If India won the Test match within three days it was undoubtedly because of the batting of Pujara in both innings and Jadeja's superb display with both bat and ball in both innings.
Pujara was batting well in the first innings before he was adjudged leg-before for 31. But his top-score of 77 in the second innings and his 86-run first-wicket partnership with Murali Vijay can be weighed in gold as that helped India achieve a healthy lead from where they could press for victory.
It was here that Jadeja came into the picture. He played second fiddle to R Ashiwn in the first innings picking three wickets to the offie's five. But with the track assisting the spinners, Jadeja didn't let this opportunity go by and returned figures of 5 for 21 from his 11.5 overs and set India up for a massive win. This also helped both Pujara and Jadeja cement their place in the playing eleven of the Indian Test squad for quite sometime now.
Both Pujara and Jadeja plays for Saurashtra in the Ranji trophy and this season, Saurashtra has done really well in all their matches so far. Interestingly, like the Mohali wicket, the Rajkot tracks too assisted the spinners and Jadeja picked 37 wickets in three matches helping Saurashtra record comfortable wins in all the matches. He also has a good outing with the bat scoring three 50 plus knocks and missing the three figure mark by just nine runs on one occasion. Pujara didn't had a very good time reaching the twenty’s but not carrying his bat further. But the experience of playing on those turning tracks must have stand him in very good stead in the Mohali Test. There were some criticism from some quarter regarding the pitches Saurashtra prepared for their home games in Ranji Trophy but in hindsight, that definitely have helped Jadeja and Pujara perform so well in the Mohali Test where many stalwarts have failed.