Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara brought up his slowest half-century in Test cricket on Day 3 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The 32-year-old took 174 balls to reach his milestone and didn’t really put any kind of pressure on the Australian bowlers with the rate at which he scored his runs.
Team India resumed Day 3 on 96-2 with both their experienced batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. The pitch wasn’t providing much help for either pace or spin. Yet there was no urgency showed by the two Indian batsmen to score runs.
Although Pujara’s primary job is to blunt the new ball and take the sting out of opposition attacks, he wasn’t able to dictate terms at the SCG. He let the Australian quicks stick to their line and lengths, which piled on the pressure on the batsmen at the other end.
Eventually it didn’t help Team India’s cause, as Pujara was dismissed and the visitors were bowled out for 244 runs in just over 100 overs, handing a sizeable lead of 94 runs to the hosts.
Having batted these many overs, some more intent from the visitors could have seen Australia take a lesser first-innings lead.
Cheteshwar Pujara was the star of Team India’s historic Test series win Down Under in 2018-19, as he top-scored with 521 runs, slamming three hundreds. His strategy of tiring the Australian bowlers worked out well last time around, but Australia were better prepared on this occasion.
Twitter mocks Cheteshwar Pujara for his slow innings
Whether Cheteshwar Pujara should bat the way he does or must improve his scoring rate is debatable. However, fans on Twitter expressed their displeasure about the right-hander’s approach to batting in the SCG Test.
A lead of 94 runs could well prove to be decisive for Australia in their efforts to win back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. On that note, here is what Twitterati had to say regarding Cheteshwar Pujara’s innings:
Published 09 Jan 2021, 12:19 IST