India created history by beating Australia at the GABBA, Brisbane on 19 January 2021 to win the four-match series 2-1. Team India became the first team to defeat Australia in a Test match at GABBA in 33-years.
This was even more special as India was missing the services of a lot of key players like Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah due to injuries and captain Virat Kohli had returned home on paternity leave after the first Test in Adelaide.
Cheteshwar Pujara was one of the only two players who featured all four Tests of the series and played a vital role in the victory. The gusty batsman faced 211 balls for his 56 in the second innings of the fouth Test.
He took multiple blows on the body during the innings but stood strong against a fired-up fast-bowling trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood.
Pujara revealed how he took blows on the body and why they called him the rock.
“There are times when you need to face the bullet. If you are batting at the top of the order for the Indian team, especially overseas, you need to have a lot of guts. You need to have lots of patience and temperament. There are some innings where I had to take the bullet and that’s why they call me the ‘rock’,” said Pujara on BBC’s Test Match Special Podcast.
He further revealed that there was uneven bounce on the surface which made it difficult to judge the bounce. He revealed his game plan to tackle such a tough situation
“It was difficult to judge the bounce of the ball. And there were balls which were hitting my body. I just told myself that even if it hits my body, I will keep my hands down. I don’t want the ball to hit my gloves or bat. And that was mainly the game plan for any that was bowled short of back of a length,” explained Pujara.
The number 3 batsman played a huge role in winning the series scoring 271 runs at a strike-rate of 29.20 which helped in tiring out the Australian bowlers.