The Indian cricket team needs to bat in a pretty good manner if they want to win or save the third test match as they need to score 309 runs on the final day of the match. A lot will depend on the skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant are injured and Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are already back in pavilion.
Cheteshwar Pujara was not able to score much runs in the first two test matches while in the third test match, he managed to touch the 50-mark but still he is being criticised by some people including the former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting who questioned the approach of Pujara while he was batting and he also felt that because of Pujara’s slow batting, his batting partners must have experienced extra pressure.
Here is what Ricky Ponting tweeted in response to a question he was asked, “I don’t think it was the right approach, I think he needed to be a bit more proactive with his scoring rate because I felt it was putting too much pressure on his batting partners”.
I don't think it was the right approach, I think he needed to be a bit more proactive with his scoring rate because I felt it was putting too much pressure on his batting partners https://t.co/2OhmdATvke
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) January 9, 2021
Pujara is getting targeted because of his slow batting as he took 174 balls to complete his half-century and this is his slowest fifty ever in the test match. Earlier he played 173 balls for a fifty in 2018 in the test match against South Africa in Johannesburg. What made people more angry was that he got out without adding more runs to his half-century and that too on the bowling of Pat Cummins.
A great contest is going on between Pujara and Pat Cummins and it won’t be wrong to say that the latter is winning at the moment. Cummins has taken Pujara’s wicket four times now in 129 balls that he has bowled to him and gave away only 19 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara is not unfazed by the criticism and he has stated it clearly that he is going to bat the same way as he is doing now. According to him, everyone is trying their best and this time Pat Cummins has a better plan. He also adds that the delivery on which he got out was certainly the best ball of the series and any other batsman would have also failed in playing it. At one fell swoop, Pujara says that we also need to ensure that we bat well as a unit.
He further states that sometimes Cummins bowls unplayable deliveries and all the four deliveries on which he got out were really good ones. He goes on to say that he was confident while batting and as a batsman, he would like to focus on things which help him in scoring runs rather than making pressure on Cummins to get him out. He says that he needs to bat in the manner which he knows and make partnerships with other batsmen.
The former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg has also come out in support of Pujara and said that he just can’t understand why the Indian player is getting slammed because first of all, he’s playing test cricket and secondly, he is facing good bowlers who are at the peak of their career.
Here’s what his tweet read, “Can’t understand people getting on the back of Pujara for his slow run rate. It is test cricket, he has come up against a quality pace attack who are arguably at the top of their careers. A knock of courage, patience, strong concentration. #INDvAUS #Cricket #playtoyourstrength”
Can't understand people getting on the back of Pujara for his slow run rate. It is test cricket, he has come up against a quality pace attack who are arguably at the top of there careers. A knock of courage, patience, strong concentration. #INDvAUS #Cricket #playtoyourstrength
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) January 10, 2021
Pujara was the player of the series when India won the test series by 2-1 against Australia in 2018 as he scored 521 runs and ended the series as the highest scorer but this time, he doesn’t seem to be in his best touch.
Hopefully the Indian batsmen will put up a good show on the last day.