Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (Credits: Twitter)

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Aakash Chopra pointed out an uncanny pattern in Cheteshwar Pujara’s recent dismissals. Despite India’s stunning victory in the series opener at Centurion, the batting unit struggles with the bat have continued in the series with pressure building on both Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Although Ajinkya Rahane was impressive in the first innings at the SuperSport park (1st Test) with a knock of 48, Cheteshwar Pujara has had three very disappointing outings on the tour so far. In the first game, Cheteshwar Pujara made a golden duck in the first innings and was dismissed for just 16 in the second innings. His struggles continued on Monday as he made just three runs on the first day of the second Test match in Johannesburg.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

Aakash Chopra: Two Things-Intent To Score Runs And Lunging Forward Are Plaguing Cheteshwar Pujara

With another failure, his spot in the team is set to come under scrutiny with the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer waiting a chance. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has pointed out two reasons for Cheteshwar Pujara’s poor form in recent times.

Aakash Chopra said, “Pujara has got a lot of patience and ability to defend as well. But two things are plaguing him. First is his intent to score runs. He is not even hitting the half volley with full might and we can an uncanny pattern in his dismissals.

Aakash Chopra said, “He had nicked Ngidi’s delivery in the first innings of the Centurion Test. If we look at his hands and the height of the delivery, why is he even trying to play off the front foot instead of using the depth of the crease.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra added, “If you are always lunging forward with low hands, bowlers are going to enjoy bowling against you on South African pitches. Extra bounce, low hands, lunging forward… that’s a recipe for disaster.” 

Since the start of 2021, Cheteshwar Pujara has only made 705 runs in 15 matches at a below-par average of 27.11. He has not scored a century in Test cricket for three years with his last three-figure score coming against Australia at Sydney in January 2019.

On the first morning of the second test, Duanne Olivier sent both of them on consecutive deliveries as Cheteshwar Pujara scored a struggling 33-ball 3 runs while Ajinkya Rahane got out on a first-ball duck against the same bowler.

Marco Jansen (4/31), Kagiso Rabada (3/64), and Duanne Olivier (3/64) were outstanding as they picked up wickets at regular intervals to not allow the tourists to get into any rhythm. India’s stand-in captain KL Rahul top-scored with a knock of 50, but it was Ravichandran Ashwin’s attacking 46 that helped India to 202, before being bowled out.

Shardul Thakur Picks 3 Wicket Haul On Day 2 Of The 2nd Test

India had a 1st day to forget as they were bowled out for 202 after winning the toss and batting first. With a knock of 50, KL Rahul was the top scorer while Ravichandran Ashwin made 46 important runs.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Shardul Thakur eventually got the wicket of South African skipper, Dean Elgar. After his wicket, the pair of Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen was tasted with some quality seam bowling and Shardul Thakur again got into the act with the wickets of Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen.

His figures read 3/8 after 4.5 overs. His effort saw South Africa reduced to 102/4 at Lunch. Temba Bavuma walked out alongside Kyle Verreynne after Lunch.