There have already been question marks over the test match form of Cheteshwar Pujara for quite some time, and he didn’t help his case earlier today by registering a duck to his name on the first day of the Centurion test match against South Africa.
It was the 9th time that Cheteshwar Pujara scored a duck for India while batting at no. 3 in test cricket, which is now a record. No other batsman has scored as many ducks for India at no. 3. The previous record was held by Dilip Vengsarkar, who had got 8 ducks to his name at the no. 3 position.
Pujara walked in to bat at a time when India were in a very comfortable position with the opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul having added more than 100 runs for the first wicket, but the way he played the very first ball upon his arrival at the crease was strange.
The pitch had a bit of variable bounce and normally a new batsman doesn’t commit too much onto the front foot on that kind of surface first up, but Pujara was forward the very first ball despite the length not being full enough.
Scoring big in the second innings will be vital for Cheteshwar Pujara
The South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi didn’t just get a tad bit of extra bounce from the back of length, he also got a little bit of inward movement which induced an inside edge off Cheteshwar Pujara onto his pad. The ball popped up in the air to the short leg fielder, who gleefully accepted the catch.
Most ducks at No.3 for India in Test cricket:
8 – Cheteshwar Pujara*
8 – Dilip Vengsarkar
7 – Rahul Dravid #INDvNZ
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) December 3, 2021
The Indian team management has consistently backed all the senior batsmen of the team despite their shaky form in the last couple of years, but Pujara might be running out of time now. If he doesn’t score big in the second innings of the ongoing Centurion game, his place, by no means, will be certain in the Indian XI, going into the second test of the series.