Cheteshwar Pujara is almost scared to play a shot: Allan Border

Cheteshwar Pujara is almost scared to play a shot: Allan Border

Former Australian captain Allan Border slammed Cheteshwar Pujara for playing with a strike rate of 28.41.

Allan Border and Cheteshwar Pujara
Allan Border and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Australia bossed over India on completion of Day 3 of the ongoing third Test of the four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy at Sydney Cricket Ground. In the first innings, Australia managed to rack up a massive target of 338 runs on the back of a scintillating century by Steve Smith. In reply, India failed to perform better with the bat as they were bundled out for a total of 244 runs.

India’s outing in the first innings with the bat was quite bizarre as they quickly went from 195 for 4 at one point to 244/10. Cheteshwar Pujara and opening batsman Shubman Gill emerged as joint-highest scorers for India with a knock of 50 runs each. However, not many were stratified with Pujara’s performance as the batsman took 176 deliveries to reach a mere score of 50.

Former Australian captain Allan Border slammed Cheteshwar Pujara for playing with a strike rate of 28.41. Border reckoned that the Rajkot-born batter lacked the intent of scoring runs as he was more focused on spending more time on the ground and regularly ticking the scoreboard.

“He [Pujara] is almost scared to play a shot, isn’t he? He is playing to survive rather than looking to score. He’s not had quite the same impact this series in that he’s taken so long to score his runs, it’s like he’s stagnated at the crease and it has had a bit of a ripple effect through the Indian batting. They can’t seem to get on top of Australia’s bowling,” Allan Border told foxsports.com.au.

Allan Border hails Australia’s bowling line-up

Pujara was the main reason behind India’s historic victory in the Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia 2018-19 by 2-1 as he had emerged as the highest run-getter in the marquee Test series. However, the batsman has failed to replicate his performance this time as he registered scores of 43, 0, 17, 3 and 50 across five innings respectively.

Further in the interaction, Allan Border was all praises for Australia’s terrific bowling unit that managed to keep the Indian batters in control without leaking runs. Pat Cummins bowled 21.4 overs and gave away just 29 runs, picking up 4 wickets. Josh Hazlewood also bowled 10 maiden overs while Nathan Lyon and Mithell Starc gave away at three runs per over.

“Credit where credit is due, the bowling has been very good and Australia haven’t allowed them to get away. That’s half the battle as well, the guy’s been hard to get out but if the scoreboard is not moving, eventually you get your rewards,” Allan Border concluded.