Cheteshwar Pujara was “scared to play a shot” and simply appeared to outlive reasonably than taking the struggle to the Australians, former skipper Allan Border mentioned on Saturday, slamming the Indian’s batting techniques on day three of the third Test.
Pujara’s slowest Test half-century, a painstaking 50 off 176 balls handed Australia management of the match during which they now have total lead of 197 runs.
“He (Pujara) is almost scared to play a shot, isn’t he? He is playing to survive rather than looking to score,” Allan Border instructed foxsports.com.au.
“He’s not had quite the same impact this series in that he’s taken so long to score his runs, it’s like he’s stagnated at the crease and it has had a bit of a ripple effect through the Indian batting. They can’t seem to get on top of Australia’s bowling.”
Pujara, who had amassed 521 runs throughout India’s historic 2-1 Test collection win in Australia in 2018-19, didn’t rotate strike and it created strain on the likes of Ajinkya Rahane (22 off 70 balls) and Rishabh Pant (36 off 67 balls).
Pat Cummins (4-29) returned with a four-wicket haul on an unresponsive monitor and was well-supported by Josh Hazlewood (2-43) and Mitchell Starc (1-61) as Australia dismissed India for 244 on day 3.
“Credit where credit is due, the bowling has been very good and Australia haven’t allowed them to get away,” Border mentioned.
“That’s half the battle as well, the guy’s been hard to get out but if the scoreboard is not moving, eventually you get your rewards.”
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting too was important of Pujara’s method and requested him to “be a bit more proactive with his scoring rate because I felt it was putting too much pressure on his batting partners.”
Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody, nevertheless, believes the onus was on skipper Rahane and Hanuma Vihari to maintain the scoreboard ticking as Pujara was simply enjoying his pure recreation.
“I don’t think Pujara at all is the culprit in this case, generally in his career he has played his brand of cricket and it would be unfair for the team to be asking him to be playing something which is totally out of his natural style,” Moody instructed ESPNcricinfo.
“I will put it down to Rahane and Vihari, who came in and scored 4 off 38 balls. To me, both these players need to get the game moving, understanding the role that Pujara has done not only in this series but every other series that he has played Test cricket for India.” Moody mentioned.
“It’s got to be an understanding in a team environment, that look for us to compete and build on the momentum that we had in Melbourne … we got to be aggressive,” he mentioned.
“We got to take on the Australians and ensure that we are positive in our intent, whether it is just running between wickets, or whatever it might be, there needs to be a clear game plan.
“… the occupation of the crease was not the correct recreation plan, if that is what they have been making an attempt to do, is simply to place the Australians on the sector for so long as potential and put on them down as a result of I did not see that method India going to win this Test match.” India must bat out of their pores and skin to save lots of the Test with Australia ending day Three with a 197-run lead.
Marnus Labuschagne (47) and Steve Smith (29) have been on the crease with Australia at 103 for two when the stumps have been drawn on Saturday.