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SportCricketWe were going to make it as hard as possible for Pujara:...

We were going to make it as hard as possible for Pujara: Cummins

Published: 9th Jan 2021 6:34 pm

Sydney: Australia entered the four-match Test series against India determined to make it “as hard as possible” for Cheteshwar Pujara to score, the home team’s pace spearhead Pat Cummins said after his terrific display in the third Test on Saturday.

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Pujara has been criticised for his ultra-defensive approach in the series so far and instead of propping up his team’s response to Australia’s first innings total of 338 all out, his painstakingly slow 50 off 176 balls on the third day of the third Test here derailed India’s momentum. “Today I got a bit of assistance from the pitch. But he (Pujara) is someone you know you are going to have to bowl a lot at,” Cummins said during the virtual post-day press conference.

The world’s number one bowler returned fine figures of 4/29 and dismissed Pujara, who had been a thorn in Australia’s flesh during the 2018-19 series, for the fourth time in the ongoing rubber.

“We got our head around that this series, for him to score runs, we are going to make it as hard as possible, and whether he bats for 200-300 balls, we would just try and bowl good ball after good ball, challenge both sides of his bat, and fortunately, so far it has worked.” Cummins was asked about Pujara’s slow scoring rate and the pressure it puts on other batsmen.

“It’s one of those things. You know he (Pujara) is going to hang around. As long as you are controlling the scoreboard. At one stage he had been out there for 200 balls or 150 balls and I looked up there thinking they are still 200 away from our first-innings total.

“So, that fell a long way away and if we continue bowling well, you’re not overly bothered. I think having Greeny (Chris Green) in there as a bowling option as well helps so we’re not having those big 20-over days,” he said.

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