India vs Australia: Cheteshwar Pujara's slow innings may cost India the MCG Test, feels Ricky Ponting

India scored at less than two-and-a-half runs an over for most of the first two days of the Test, registering the slowest first-innings score of more than 300 in Australia for three decades.

Press Trust of India, Dec 27, 2018 18:45:13 IST

Melbourne: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting found India's slow batting baffling in the third Test and feels that Cheteshwar Pujara's 106 off 319 balls may end up being the reason for their defeat.

India scored at less than two-and-a-half runs an over for most of the first two days of the Test, registering the slowest first-innings score of more than 300 in Australia for three decades.

Pujara consumed 319 deliveries for his 106-run knock as none of India's top five batsmen scored at a strike rate of more than 50. Even captain Virat Kohli, who paces his innings decently, scored his 82 off 204 balls with a strike rate of 40.19 on a slow track.

File image of India's Cheteshwar Pujara. Reuters

File image of India's Cheteshwar Pujara. Reuters

"If India go on and win the game, it'll be a great innings (but) if they haven't got time to bowl Australia out twice, it could be what actually costs them the game," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"I think it's always hard for India to push the run rate along when Pujara's there. He's just made another hundred, his second of the series, so he's playing well and doesn't really look like getting out.

"But he just locks himself in this little bubble where scoring doesn't seem to faze him at all. They have got other guys in their side who are stroke-makers but if those guys don't come off, the scoring rate is always going to be hovering around that two runs an over mark, which makes it pretty hard to win Test matches, especially on flat wickets like we might have here."

The former Test captain Ricky Ponting said India's tactics was beyond comprehension.

"Even (since Pujara's dismissal), it just seems like they haven't got a lot of direction about what they're trying to achieve. It looks like they want to bat long enough to only bat once, but just yet they haven't got enough runs to do that.

"Obviously they've talked long and hard about what they want to do, it's just a bit baffling to us."

Ponting also encouraged Australia to barrage Kohli with short balls.

"The ball before he got out, he played a really good pull shot over mid-on, so he looked like he was moving free enough at that stage. I just think it was the intent that was shown. I'd love to see them start more that way against Kohli.

"He doesn't play too many cross-bat shots early on (in his innings), so I think that's maybe something the Australians could look at and target for the rest of the series."

"(It) actually forced Kohli, and Pujara to a certain degree, out of their bubble. Both of those guys were in their bubble, they weren't taking any risks and they were playing the way they wanted to play.

Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 18:47:25 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Chennai
10 7 3 0 14
2
Mumbai
10 6 4 0 12
3
Delhi
10 6 4 0 12
4
Hyderabad
9 5 4 0 10
5
Punjab
10 5 5 0 10
6
Kolkata
10 4 6 0 8
7
Rajasthan
9 3 6 0 6
8
Bangalore
10 3 7 0 6
See Full Table





Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4737 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 7259 123
2 India 8508 120
3 New Zealand 6071 112
4 South Africa 6181 112
5 Australia 5701 108
6 Pakistan 5147 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5726 122
3 England 3036 121
4 Australia 3613 120
5 South Africa 3366 120
6 New Zealand 3367 116