Cheteshwar Pujara believes the support for India's ongoing Test against Bangladesh, the first to be played under floodlights in the country, is a good omen for the future of Test cricket.
"When you're playing Test cricket and when the crowd comes in, it's always motivating for the players," Pujara said at the close of the second day's play. "I feel that Test cricket is still alive and this was one of the occasions which will boost Test cricket. As players, we do enjoy this atmosphere, especially when we're fielding.
When you're batting, you're always concentrating on the ball. Bowlers need a lot of support. And when we're fielding, the moment the crowd starts supporting the bowler and fielders, it's a great atmosphere. The bowlers are always charged up. It's a nice atmosphere, although the game might not go on until day four, but it's still a good experience and I'm sure the crowd is also enjoying it."
The Indian No.3 made a battling 55 on the first day, helping his side into the lead after both openers were dismissed within 13 overs alongside captain Virat Kohli, before being undone by some sharp bounce from Ebadat Hossain half an hour before the close. "I think batting under lights was difficult when I batted yesterday," Pujara said. "Even when I saw on the TV what was happening in the first session, I think the first session is slightly easier to bat because there's no (flood)lights. And when there's lights, I think the ball starts swinging a little more. So it is a bit challenging. And also the kind of experience we have, most of the Test matches we've played are during the day. So during the sunlight it's easy to see the ball, whether it's red or pink. But when it comes to lights, it is a little challenging for the batsman."
India declare on 347/9, and Ishant Sharma promptly takes two wickets in his first two overs of the Bangladesh second innings.— ICC (@ICC) November 23, 2019
Bangladesh 4/2. #INDvBAN live 👇https://t.co/WIrstRq3Vm pic.twitter.com/p1lu9LQ0J0
India declared their first innings closed on 347/9 just before the tea break on day two, with Ishant Sharma claiming a brace of wickets in the five overs before the interval. Another pair of wickets fell quickly after resumption as Bangladesh fell to 13/4 before Mamudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim rebuilt the innings. Pujara believed the timing of the declaration was key in providing the early breakthroughs.
"I think that was the right time to bowl because the ball was swinging," he said. "We felt that if we start bowling at that time, we can start picking early wickets, and that's what happened. That was the right time. Dew wasn't there. Dew started after tea time. So it was the right time."