Cheteshwar Pujara once again fell for a low score, a solitary run, continuing his horror form as James Anderson prized him out at Headingley in the third Test of the series.
Anderson nicked off Pujara in a similar fashion he did him at Trent Bridge in the first Test. Bowling from a slightly wider angle, the legendary England pacer elicited a poke from India’s number 3. The outswinger straightened on pitching taking the outside edge through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to see the right-hander walk back for just 1 run. This was the 10th time Anderson had dismissed the Rajkot batsman.
This meant that Cheteshwar Pujara has now gone 12 innings – including one innings not out – without a Test half-century. This sequence began in the series at home against the same opposition; his last 50-plus score came in the first innings of India’s first Test against England in Chennai.
His scores since then read: 15, 21, 7, 0, 17, 8, 15, 4, 12*, 9, 45, and 1 on Wednesday. While the pressure on his place, and his significance, in the side may have released somewhat by his 45 in the second innings at Lord’s, further low scores, and if they come in losses, would mount it again on Cheteshwar Pujara.
West Indies legend Brian Lara has called for Cheteshwar Pujara to better his strike rate, which would be beneficial for both, himself and the team
Speaking on ‘Follow The Blues’ exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar, Lara said, “Pujara, definitely for me, I mean as a batsman, I am not the same as a player, that ability to be so patient and score at such a low strike rate.
“So, for me, if I was a coach or if I was someone that wanted Pujara to improve, I would try to create a lot more shots and try to score a strike rate that is more beneficial to him and the team.”
“He does the job, and I know the job he does, but I just feel that when you bat that slowly, there are a lot of momentum swings in your innings and you allow the bowlers so many deliveries at yourself, even before you get to three figures that you are going to find yourself coming up short a lot of times,” the West Indian added.
Meanwhile, India have been bowled out for 78 inside two sessions by the English pacers. Anderson and Craig Overton snapped 3 each while Ollie Robinson and Sam Curran picked two wickets each.