Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has revealed why Cheteshwar Pujara is getting dismissed caught behind by the wicket-keeper or in the slips in the ongoing series against Australia.
Pujara was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood on Sunday when he got an edge to Tim Paine.
Pujara’s bat came at an angle towards the ball and he got a faint edge. In fact, Pujara has been dismissed in a similar fashion throughout this Test series as Australia’s gun fast bowler Pat Cummins has breathed down the neck of the right-hander.
Manjrekar feels India’s number three is playing inside the line of the ball and making balls look better than they actually are. In fact, Pujara was once again set in the first innings at the Gabba as he faced 94 balls to score his 25 runs. Pujara once again scored his runs at a paltry strike rate of 26.60.
Manjrekar reckons it wasn’t an unplayable ball that Pujara got and Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma were able to keep the same kind of balls at bay from the Australian bowlers. Pujara was getting bowled a lot in the past and it forced him to twist his technique.
“There is a history to whatever is happening currently. If you remember, Pujara was getting bowled in the last 3-4 years. So, somewhere or the other, he would have felt that he should tighten up his defence. So, I feel that in order to do that correction, he has got into the habit of playing inside the line,” said Manjrekar on Sony Sports Network.
“The same deliveries were bowled to Rohit Sharma when he faced the new ball. So, Pujara has to just see how he was playing those deliveries. It is clear to me that he is playing inside the line and making the balls look good. It is not that all balls are unplayable. And the deliveries are not even outside off-stump; he is edging deliveries on off-stump and middle-stump.”
Pujara has been getting off to starts in this Test series against Australia but he hasn’t been able to convert them into substantial scores, which must be disappointing for him. The right-hander has scored 190 runs in six innings in this Test series at an average of 31.67 and a strike rate of 30.50. However, Pujara had a successful previous tour of Australia as he had scored 521 runs at an average of 74.43 in four Test matches.
Australia have set up a huge target of 328 runs for the Indian team and Pujara will hold the key for the visitors on the final day of the fourth Test match.