Recalling his experience during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australian pacer Pat Cummins revealed that while the team was playing against the visitors, he was fighting a one-on-one battle with the Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara.
Pat Cummins revealed that one of the toughest nuts to crack during the match, especially during the Tests following Virat Kohli’s departure from Australia was the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara.
Cummins called him a ‘brick wall’ as the player faced 928 balls in the entire series without showing even a smear of exhaustion, scoring 271 runs.
“My initial thought was that he (Pujara) was the brick wall, so once we opened up his end, I thought that still made all three results in the game possible, winning, losing or a draw. But it was satisfying too: before the series, once we knew Virat (Kohli) was going to miss the last three Tests, Pujara was the big wicket for me,” Pat Cummins said while talking to ESPN Cricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’.
In the first Test, Pujara faced 160 balls scoring 43 runs in the first innings. However, he could last for only eight balls before surrendering to Cummins’ attacks for zero runs. But even then Cummins knew he could not slack off while bowling to the middle-order batsman.
“He was the deciding factor in the series a couple of years earlier – he was their rock in the middle order – and I felt a big part of the series battle would be played out against him,” he added.
Heaping praises for Pujara, the pacer added that while he did had tough time eliminating him from the field, he couldn’t help but praise how sturdy he was on the crease even after taking several hits on his body.
“It’s incredibly rare that someone gets hit on his body and wears so many bruises without trying something. You hope if you keep doing that, maybe they’re going to try to put their gloves up and you’re going to get a catch that way, but he really stuck to his processes,” the 27-year old said.
“But on the flip side, if the batter’s good enough to get through that and they can bat and bat, it doesn’t really matter what you bowl at them. It really comes down to the fact that if he doesn’t bat lots of time you feel great and love bowling to him. If he does, you go, okay, well, his method is obviously working,” Cummins added.
Pujara played a crucial role in helping India seal the series by 2-1. The series turned out to be a historic one for the Indian cricket team as the youngsters took over the command in the absence on the senior players from the Indian team, most of them out due to injury, while slaying a seasoned Australian team.