South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada did try to disturb Cheteshwar Pujara’s concentration on the opening day of the second Test, but tactic hardly bothered the senior Indian batsman as he was “in his own zone”.
Rabada did say a few words to Pujara after dismissing him for 58, perhaps letting a bit of his frustration out as he was unlucky not to get him out on zero due to a dropped catch.
Asked what exactly Rabada said, Pujara replied: “I can’t remember what he said. But he (Rabada) is someone who always likes to say something to the batsmen.
“As a batsman, I always know that he (Rabada) will try to disturb my concentration, not just him but any bowler, who passes a comment, so I try and avoid (listening to) what they say,” said India’s dependable No 3.
“If you are in your zone, you hardly hear what they are trying to say as you are too much focussed on what you want to do as batsman. So when you are in your own zone, you miss out what they are saying’’, Pujara said avoiding any controversy.
Pujara made 58 off 112 deliveries. He hit nine fours and one six during his knock before being dismissed by Rabada.
India won the toss and chose to bat on a sporting wicket at the MCA stadium in Pune. This was Virat Kohli's 50th Test as captain and both Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma started cautiously. South Africa bowled in the right channels and Kagiso Rabada got the big wicket of Rohit Sharma for 14.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal steadied the ship and batted with superb application. Mayank Agarwal notched up his second century while Pujara and Virat Kohli smashed centuries to help India end the day on 273/3 against South Africa.
(With inputs from PTI)