Tue, Jun 27, 2017 | updated 04:08 AM IST

Pujara-Saha partnership is the best I've ever seen: Kohli

Updated: Mar 20, 2017 21:28 IST      
Pujara-Saha partnership is the best I've ever seen: Kohli

Ranchi [India], Mar.20 (ANI): Lavishing praise on Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha for stitching a record 199-run stand during the drawn third Test against Australia in Ranchi, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Monday said that it was the `best` partnership he has ever seen.

In reply to Australia's big first-inning total of 451, India's marathon man Pujara and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha produced an extraordinary batting performance as they not only helped India to go behind the Australian total but also guided the side to take a substantial first innings-lead.

Pujara (202) scored his third double century and shared a crucial 199-run seventh-wicket stand with Saha (117), who also dominated the Australian bowlers and smashed his third century. The duo ensured that India declare at 603/9 and take a healthy first inning-lead of 152 runs.

After being reduced to 63-4 at lunch in their second innings on Day five, Marsh (53) and Handscomb (72*) displayed a fighting performance as the duo went on to share a gritting 124-run stand for the fifth wicket to help Australia reach 204-6 in their second innings and avert defeat.

"KL and M Vijay, but the partnership between Saha and Pujara is the best I have seen. We didn't expect a 150 lead. Yesterday two wickets, we thought we had a good chance, but credit to the two batsmen [Marsh and Handscomb], they batted really well," Kohli said in a post match conference.

Describing Man of the Match Pujara as `priceless`, Kohli also admitted that the former is the most composed player in the team who is always ready to take challenge and bat under pressure.

"Sometimes I feel really bad for him that people don't understand his importance so much in this team . You know what a valuable player he is for us. He is the most composed player we have in the team. He is willing to grind for his runs, he does not mind batting under pressure, and he likes to take the challenge of batting long. Someone like that is priceless to have in the team," Kohli said after India settled for a draw on the final day at the JSCA International Stadium Complex here on Monday.

"Whenever the pressure situation comes, he is always ready to put his hand up and plays long for the team and hold up one end, which I think is a great quality in him. This season he has been outstanding. He has contributed throughout," he added.

The swashbuckling batsman also admitted that Pujara has been outstanding this season before expressing hope that the latter would continue to bat until crucial last Test.

"He's not being spoken about or being in the focus too much but I think he deserves much more than that. People need to take notice of what he has done this season. He's been outstanding with the bat and I hope he can continue until the last Test," Kohli insisted.

While heaping praise on Saha's brilliant knock, the Test skipper said the former has always stood up for the side whenever needed before adding that it was due to his partnership with Pujara that his side managed to come close to the winning position.

"Saha's knock was brilliant for us. He always stood up for us whenever the team needed him. This game was no different. His partnership with Pujara was the reason why we could have a go at winning the Test. A lot of credit goes to him also," he said.

"Again not being mentioned too much, but he deserves a lot of credit. He is one guy who is willing to do anything for the team wherever we ask him to bat he bats. He has no problems in batting, after or before Ashwin. You really feel glad for a guy like him. I'm really happy that he performed in a big pressure match in a difficult situation and put us in a position to have a shot at winning the game," Kohli added.

Kohli did not stop there and further went on to praise all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who returned with nine wickets and also contributed with the bat with an unbeaten 54.

"Jadeja was outstanding, his economy on this wicket is impressive. He proved why he is joint number one bowler. Whenever Jadeja came to bowl, he picked up a wicket or two every three-four overs. He was hitting the roughs consistently. It was always attacking the batsmen," he said.

With the draw, the four-match Test series remains levelled at 1-1. The two sides will now lock horns in the final match in Dharamsala beginning March 25. (ANI)

Kvitova jumps to 12th in WTA Rankings

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 20:45 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has moved up to 12th spot in the latest WTA rankings after she made a winning comeback from a knife attack by lifting the Birmingham title.

Full Story >>

RP-SG Mavericks to take on Falcons TTC in UTT opener

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 20:19 IST     

Mumbai [India], June 26 (ANI): The organisers of the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) announced the event schedule for the inaugural edition today.

Full Story >>

BCCI to constitute committee to implement Lodha reforms

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 19:16 IST     

Mumbai [India], June 26 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will constitute a committee to see how the Supreme Court appointed-Lodha Panel recommendations are implemented by the board in the best possible and swiftest manner.

Full Story >>

Mahindra Racing to exit Moto3 at end of 2017

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 17:57 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): Mahindra racing, winner of three races in the 2016 Moto3 World Championship, debuting six years ago, will end its participation in the series after the conclusion of the 2017 season to focus more on electric vehicle racing.

Full Story >>

Jayawardena says no to India's head coach gig

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 17:41 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena has categorically dismissed the speculation linking him to the post of Indian cricket team's head coach, saying he is `not looking at full-time positions right now`.

Full Story >>

Sort it `face to face` like men: Hamilton tells Vettel

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 17:20 IST     

London [UK], June 26 (ANI): Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has branded Sebastian Vettel a disgrace after the latter deliberately drove into him at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and demanded that, if they are to clash, they should do so like "men" outside the car.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): Former wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher believes that South Africa were "too tentative" in their batting approach during their series-deciding defeat against England in the third T20I at Cardiff on Sunday.

Full Story >>

Will baby Faf end Proteas' 119-Test streak?

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 16:40 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): If Faf du Plessis misses the opening Test of the four-match series against England beginning July 6 at the Lord's, it will snap South Africa's 119-match streak to field him or AB de Villiers in their Playing XI.

Full Story >>

`Uncapped` Kuhn, Phehlukwayo named in Proteas Test squad

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 15:00 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): The uncapped duo of Heino Kuhn and Andile Phehlukwayo has been named in the 16-member South African squad for the four-match Test series against England, beginning July 6 at the Lord's.

Full Story >>

Sports fraternity extends greetings on `Eid-ul-Fitr`

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 14:21 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): The sports fraternity has come in unison to extend their warm wishes on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Full Story >>

Serena will be ranked 700 if she plays men's circuit: McEnroe

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 13:43 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): Tennis legend John McEnroe has claimed that Serena Williams, who is the best player of her gender, would be ranked 700 in the men's circuit.

Full Story >>

De Villiers to decide his cricketing future in August

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 13:19 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): South Africa skipper AB de Villiers, who was in England for a T20 and Test series, has left the tour, saying that he would meet Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials in August to chart his future in international cricket.

Full Story >>

Port of Spain [West Indies], June 26 (ANI): A blistering ton by stand-in opener Ajinkya Rahane on Sunday guided India to a comprehensive win against the West Indies in the second one-day international between the two sides at the Queen's Park Oval here on Sunday.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], June 26 (ANI): Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez produced a spirited performance as he bounced back from a set down to defeat Croatia's Marin Cilic and lift the Aegon Championships title at Queen's Club last evening.

Full Story >>

ICC Women's WC: Aussies, Windies prepare to start campaigns

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 10:46 IST     

Dubai [UAE], June 26 (ANI): Four years on from their ICC Women's World Cup success in Mumbai, Australia will once again meet the team they defeated in the final, West Indies, as they begin the defence of their title in Taunton on Monday.

Full Story >>

Port of Spain [West Indies], June 26 (ANI): India won the second ODI against West Indies by a margin of 105 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series here at the Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], June. 26 (ANI): Chandigarh's 20-year old Yashaswini Singh Deswal was crowned Junior World Champion in the Women's 10m Air Pistol at the end of day two of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Championship Rifle/Pistol, underway in Suhl, Germany.

Full Story >>

London [UK], June 25 (ANI): India went down 2-3 to a resilient Canada in the fifth-sixth place playoff of the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final here on Sunday.

Full Story >>

India vs West Indies: Rain delays toss in second ODI

Updated: Jun 25, 2017 19:01 IST     

Port of Spain [West Indies], June 25 (ANI): Toss has been delayed for the second ODI of the five-match series between India and West Indies because of rain here at the Queens Park Oval, Trinidad on Sunday.

Full Story >>

Kohli becomes second most followed Indian on Facebook

Updated: Jun 25, 2017 18:32 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 25 (ANI): Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding Anil Kumble's exit from the post of the Indian cricket team's head coach, swashbuckling skipper Virat Kohli's popularity continues to grow.

Full Story >>