Sanjay Manjrekar Explains How Jack Leach Has Managed To Get The Better Of Cheteshwar Pujara This Series

Sanjay Manjrekar Explains How Jack Leach Has Managed To Get The Better Of Cheteshwar Pujara This Series

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (Image Credits: Twitter)

India’s number three in Test cricket, Cheteshwar Pujara, has not had an exceptional series against England as expected since he has managed only one fifty thus far. Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been an absolute rock for India in red-ball cricket in the last few years, has been dismissed by left-arm spinner Jack Leach four times in the rubber. Hence, Sanjay Manjrekar has shed light on what Jack Leach has done differently against the right-handed batsman.

Cheteshwar Pujara was the first wicket to fall on Saturday morning of the fourth Test, dismissed for the fourth time in four-match series by Jack Leach. The left-arm spinner fired a faster delivery alongside being flat that slid in towards off and middle from round the wicket. The Saurashtra batsman called for a review, thinking he nicked it; however, the ultra edge confirmed that it was pad first. With the ball tracker returning three reds, the right-handed batsman had to walk back for 17 off 66 balls.

Jack Leach
Jack Leach and Ben Foakes [Image- BCCI]
Sanjay Manjrekar underlined that Jack Leach has not allowed Cheteshwar Pujara to come down the pitch and defend. The former India batsman stated that he had better chances to do that against Nathan Lyon since he delivered that extra flight, allowing him to smother it. In contrast, Leach’s faster trajectory along with his average speed increasing from the first Test has suffocated Pujara. Thus, when the 32-year old defends from the crease, he gets vulnerable and that Pujara has endured similar dismissals on all four occasions.

What Jack Leach has done in this series, he has not allowed Pujara to do that, Nathan Lyon, with his flight, gives him a little more time to go down the pitch and smother the spin. Jack Leach’s faster trajectory, his average speed has also increased from the first Test to this one; hence, he has stifled Pujara and when Pujara is forced to defend the spinner from the crease that’s when he becomes vulnerable and where Jack Leach has been very good. So, he has not been leg-before and occaions where he has been caught on first slip, but the similarities and the dismissals against Jack Leach is that he has been forced to defend from the crease,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPN Cricinfo.

I’m not a big fan of stepping out and defending: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar. Image-BCCI.

Sanjay Manjrekar further said that he is not a fan of stepping down and defending since he recalled Ramakant Achrekar’s words of giving an option to the bowler of getting the batsman stumped. Thus, one should defend from the crease and if one plays on the front foot, they should do so aggressively. Simultaneously, he agreed that Pujara has found success with his approach of dancing down the deck and smothering it.

I’m not a big fan of stepping out and defending because I remember Ramakant Achrekar said if you’re going to step out and give the option to the bowler to get you stumped, you might as well do it to play aggressively. If you’re going to defend, do it from the crease – backfoot or front foot, but Pujara has been extremely successful with his different approach of going down the pitch, dancing down the pitch, and defending,” he added.

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