Pujara’s slow innings may cost India Melbourne Test: Ponting

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.

“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.” (AGENCIES)



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