India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, who is often hailed as the modern-day Dravid, scored his slowest ever fifty in Test cricket on day 3 of the ongoing third match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Well, it was during the 2018-2019 Test series against Australia, when Pujara created all the difference with his performance. He ended the series with 521 runs in 4 Tests, including three centuries. However, two years down the line, Pujara played his slowest knock ever.
Pujara scored his half-century off 174 balls, beating his previous slowest knock against South Africa in 2018, which he pulled off in 173 balls. Pujara now has six 50-plus scores in Australia, which is joint-most by an Indian no.3 batsman in Tests.
However, what hurt India more was the fact that Pujara was dismissed immediately after getting to his fifty. Australia’s Pat Cummins bowled a brilliant delivery that hit the outside edge of Pujara’s bat to sent India on the backfoot. Pujara was dismissed for 51 runs off 176 balls as India lost their sixth wicket.
He was bowled to an off-side field and he was unable to find ways of scoring. Even the drive through covers or other shots didn’t fetch him boundaries. He didn’t even score a single boundary in the first 100 deliveries.
Meanwhile, fans on Twitter couldn’t keep calm after Pujara scored his slowest ever fifty in the longest format of the game. Though the half-century brought mixed reactions from fans, however, most of them were critical about the slow knock that India’s no.3 played.
Here, check out the reactions of Twitterati on this:
Either open with Pujara or drop him. No point in playing blocker who's coming after Gill just to destroy the momentum
— Karthi (@The_Hitwicket) January 9, 2021
Just look at the 7 wickets that have gone down for India. How many have been thrown away ? 6 wickets.
Who’s the one who didn’t throw it away by playing a bad shot ? Pujara. So much scrutiny for some sensible batting ? We surely can do better ! #AUSvIND #PinkTest
— Cricket With Ash (@CricketWithAsh) January 9, 2021
Time to call out Pujara's defensive tactics.
Nothing good has come out of excessive defending.
No intent even to rotate strike.
— Aditya Sharma (@apostateindian) January 9, 2021
The way Pujara has played sometimes feel it's better if he opens…Opportunity lost here as none of batsmen scored a big one.. Great bowling by Cummins n Hazelwood.. What is with the runouts here? #INDvsAUS
— Mayank Bhagat (@ikigaimathlabs) January 9, 2021
Never ever watch Pujara and Vihari batting together .
India needs to find a batsman who keeps the scoreboard ticking while Pujara holds ground.#INDvsAUS
— Arul Baratike (@arulbaratike) January 9, 2021
Talking about the game, resuming the day on 96/2, team India were bundled out for a moderated 244 runs, handing over a mammoth 94-run lead to the hosts.