Positive intent the key for India - Pujara


Cheteshwar Pujara believes India's positive intent was the key to a successful first day of the third and final Test with New Zealand in Indore on Saturday.

Hosting Test cricket for the first time, the fans in Indore were treated to a fine performance from Virat Kohli, who finished the day unbeaten on 103 - recording his 13th Test century and his first since hitting 200 against the West Indies in July.

Ajinkya Rahane (79 not out) is 21 runs short of his own century going into day two, with he and Kohli combining for an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 167 to guide India to 267-3 at the close as the hosts seek a 3-0 whitewash.

Pujara (41) fell nine runs shy of a half-century but said: "The message was given was to play with intent. When it comes to Test cricket we don't need to focus much on strike rate, but on positive intent.

"On such wickets you can't keep on scoring runs and have a strike rate of more than 70 or 80. You have to bat as per the situations. You have to know what the team requires

"Virat and Ajinkya batted really well. Virat played a very good innings and got the first century in the series and Ajinkya too batted well. Their partnership was crucial and if the partnership carries on tomorrow it will be good for us.

"Good scores were made and the top order is getting runs. We were aware that one batsman from the top six must get 100 and we got it today. It's a landmark, but once we get 50 plus it's still a good score."

And Pujara revealed India will look to push their advantage beyond 400 with another strong display on day two.

He added: "We will try to bat as long as possible. The kind of position we are in, we will look to get 400 and if we don't lose quick wickets tomorrow and continue like we are doing, we will keep batting. We hope for a big total and when our spinners bowl we expect some more help from the wicket.

"It was the first day, but still there was some turn, not much, but as the match progresses on from third day the turn will be more. 

"Their left armer is creating rough and there will be more help for the off spinners. One or two balls from left arm spinner [Mitchell Santner] also spun and hopefully on days two and three there will be some help."