Indian Test batting star Cheteshwar Pujara could not make a mark in the second innings as he did in the first against Australia A in their ongoing practice match. India and Australia A are currently involved in a three-day practice match at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney ahead of the gruelling four-match Test series. Cheteshwar Pujara received a peach of a delivery from uncapped fast bowler Michael Neser to perish for a duck after facing seven balls.
Cheteshwar Pujara warmed up for the four-match Test series with a patient fifty in the first innings of the game before James Pattinson had him caught at leg gully. The right-handed batsman was the only other significant scorer apart from Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a brilliant hundred as the visitors declared on 247/9. Pattinson plucked three scalps while captain Travis Head followed with two to put up a tidy bowling performance.
But Cameron Green rescued Australia A with a scintillating hundred, pressing for a Test debut on the 17th of December in Adelaide. The hosts declared after gaining a 59-run lead to have a go at India’s batting line-up again. The most notable point of the first warm-up game was that the openers from either side fared terribly. Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill had not opened their account in the first innings and added 37 in the second. Will Pucovski and Joe Burns – both of who could open in the first Test could add only four runs together in the first innings.
Watch: Michael Nesser knocks over Cheteshwar Pujara:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 8, 2020
Cheteshwar Pujara integral to India’s chances:
Cheteshwar Pujara would be hugely integral to India’s chances and the expectations would be there, considering he bagged the man of the series award the last time India won a Test series in Australia. Pujara, who scored 54 runs in over 160 balls in the first innings of the warm-up game, amassed 521 runs in four Tests in the Australian summer of 2018-19.
It included three Test centuries that helped tire the hosts’ fast bowlers. With Virat Kohli set to skip the last three Tests, the Saurashtra batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rohit Sharma, who could play the final two Tests have to step up and bat out of their skin. India will play yet another warm-up game in Sydney ahead of their day and night Test in Adelaide.