Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has opined that Pat Cummins seems to have developed a psychological edge over Cheteshwar Pujara, as he has seemingly got the latter out every time he has bowled to him.
Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed by Pat Cummins in India's first innings of the Sydney Test for the fourth time in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Ajit Agarkar and Sanjay Manjrekar shared their views about the Indian batting mainstay's latest dismissal and his problems against Pat Cummins in the series thus far.
Ajit Agarkar started by saying that Cheteshwar Pujara cannot be blamed for his dismissal at the SCG, as he received an almost unplayable delivery.
"However much you can talk about anyone's technique, it was very difficult to survive against the delivery Pat Cummins bowled today. Pujara did not make any mistake. There was extra bounce on that delivery. His angle comes towards the batsman. Maybe it was slightly short, probably if it was Melbourne or Brisbane he could have left it on length, but he did not get a chance on this ball," said Ajit Agarkar.
The commentator pointed out that Australia have come up with a well-thought-out game-plan against Cheteshwar Pujara of not letting him rotate the strike with easy singles towards the leg side, saying in this regard:
"The bowlers have bowled very well against him. If you see the field as well, they have put a lot of fielders on the leg side. There was no point fielder a lot of times; there was no mid-on. Wherever he used to get his singles and get off strike, they have not given the chance to him in this series," added Ajit Agarkar.
Ajit Agarkar observed that Pat Cummins, in particular, has been right on top of Cheteshwar Pujara and has looked like dismissing the India number.three whenever he has bowled to him.
"The bowling has been very good, on the stumps and pitched up and especially whenever Cummins bowls against him, it seems like he will get him out," concluded Ajit Agarkar.
What a machine Cummins! That was a beauty. Too good a ball, extra bounce and Pujara edges behind.
What a bowler, Cummins. Excellent stuff
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) January 9, 2021
"This is Cheteshwar Pujara's technique, and he has scored lots of runs with it" - Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar pointed out that Cheteshwar Pujara has got dismissed because of his tendency to play from the crease with neither a forward nor a backward movement of his feet.
"I will just tell the reason why he got out like this. He is neither on the front foot or the back foot. So when you play from the crease, the short-of-length ball becomes a good delivery. But this is Pujara's technique, and he has scored lots of runs with it. But when the ball is bowled like this, it becomes a problem because the feet are at the crease," opined Sanjay Manjrekar.
The former Indian batsman observed that it would be wrong to consider the same as a shortcoming in Cheteshwar Pujara's technique, as the player has scored plenty of runs while batting in a similar fashion. He added that the dogged batsman is not prone to taking a huge forward stride like Virat Kohli or staying right back like Shubman Gill.
"It will be wrong to point it out as his weakness. He has got out this time, but normally he adjusts to this type of delivery or leaves the ball and stays on the crease with that much foot movement. He is not like Virat Kohli who will take the big stride forward and play or go back like Shubman Gill," added Sanjay Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar agreed with Ajit Agarkar that Cheteshwar Pujara received a peach of a delivery from Pat Cummins, adding that the Australian bowler has the knack of extracting prodigious bounce and seam movement from the wicket.
"He plays most of the times from the crease, but this ball was short to which he went forward with a short stride and was dismissed because of that. But as Ajit said the ball was very good, and Pat Cummins probably does something on the seam with his fingers because of which he gets the extra movement and bounce," concluded Sanjay Manjrekar.
Cheteshwar Pujara was looking to play a big knock after reaching his maiden half-century in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, he was undone by Pat Cummins' extra bounce and late away movement to edge a catch to Tim Paine after scoring exactly 50.
— DANUSHKA ARAVINDA (@DanuskaAravinda) January 9, 2021