Legendary fast bowler Glenn McGrath said on Sunday that Australia have identified a chink in Cheteshwar Pujara’s armour and executed their plans against the star batsman well in the ongoing 4-Test series against India.
Cheteshwar Pujara was caught behind after Josh Hazlewood got one to pitch in the off-stump line and straighten from there in the first innings of the 4th Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday. Pujara had to play at it but the closed face of his bat meant the ball kissed the outside edge before crashing into Tim Paine’s gloves. Pujara was one of the many Indian batsmen who got a start but failed to convert it into a big one.
Cheteshwar Pujara was the difference between the two sides when India clinched a historic 2-1 win against Australia in 2018-19. He batted more than 1000 deliveries and scored 521 runs, including 3 double hundreds.
However, in the ongoing series, Pujara has not made a hundred yet. The No. 3 batsman has had similar dismissals as the ball that straightens after pitching in the uncertainty corridor. Pat Cummins has had the wood over Pujara, .dismissing him 4 times while Hazlewood has got him twice with similar lines and lengths.
Pujara has managed 215 runs in 7 innings so far. While most of the deliveries that have got Pujara out would have got anyone out in world cricket, McGrath feels there is a pattern developing in the senior batsman’s mode of dismissal.
“Pujara is getting out in similar ways but they are all very good deliveries. They will probably get a lot of right-handers out. They are all around the off-stump,” McGrath told Sony Six.
“He is (allowing bowlers to bowl there consistently). He is not going to hurt you. If you bowl there, he is not going to score runs. So you can just sit there all day and he will just bat all day and he won’t hurt you. And one just does a bit more and he will be out. The bowlers have to be consistent and have to be patient and get that ball in that right area,” he added.
“I think the Australian team has identified that. They said at the start of the series, that they had plans for Pujara and that back hip comes around, you do square up and probably make those balls look better than they are and I think they have identified something and they have been able to execute the plans and they have got the result they wanted.”
India were reduced to 186 for 6 in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 369. The likes of Rohit Sharma (44), Pujara (25), Ajinkya Rahane (37), Mayank Agarwal (38), and Rishabh Pant (23) got starts but none of them were able to convert them into a big knock when India needed one, considering the inexperienced bowling unit at their disposal after the series of injuries.