Nov 23 2012
Monty Panesar cherished the memory of his and England's early successes after Cheteshwar Pujara subsequently stifled their progress on day one of the second Test.
India's Pujara (114 not out) refused to bow to the pressure applied by Panesar in the first two sessions at the Wankhede Stadium, where England are seeking to bounce back from their nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad.
In his first Test for eight months Panesar took four for 91, including the prized wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. He said: "I thought we stuck at it really well out there. We put a lot of pressure on the Indian batters early doors, which is something they probably didn't expect."
However, Panesar was unable to shift Pujara, England's chief tormentor with an unbeaten double-hundred last week and the principal reason here why they could not press home the afternoon advantage of 119 for five as India closed on 266 for six.
Left-arm spinner Panesar added: "They won the toss, looked to have a bat and probably thought maybe they'd only have a few wickets down for 200-plus. But we applied a lot of pressure to them and having five wickets down really early was a testament to how we did that."
Panesar concedes Pujara, specifically in his unbroken partnership of 97 with Ravichandran Ashwin (60no), has regained some ground.
"They obviously built a really good partnership. What we're hoping is we can restrict them to under 300," Panesar said. "That kind of partnership has given a bit of momentum to the Indian innings, but overall I don't think they expected us to dominate the first two sessions like that."
It is hard to believe Pujara, batting in the image of recently-retired India great Rahul Dravid, is playing only his seventh Test. The 24-year-old received fulsome praise from Ashwin, who said: "I thought it was a brilliant knock. He trusted his defence and it was a very well paced innings."
England almost dismissed Pujara in fluke circumstances for 94 and Panesar had him dropped 30 runs earlier.
Ashwin has had a little more success against him in domestic cricket, and added: "I've got him out quite a few times lbw. But he's got a great temperament, and is in great form, and he's someone who will keep on grinding the runs. He doesn't get small hundreds, he gets big ones."