London, June 9 (IANS) Former India coach and captain Ravi Shastri is very disappointed by the manner of Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal in India’s first inning against Australia in the World Test Championship Final at The Oval and said the experienced batter should have applied himself better.
Pujara attempted to leave the ball from Cameron Green which swung in and crashed into the stumps, leaving the batter looking dejected as the stumps went down tumbling. Pujara got out for 14 and what would have disappointed the Indian team management more was that opener Shubman Gill too got out in a similar fashion, against Scott Boland, a few overs earlier.
Shastri said Gill is young and will learn from the mistake but he expected better shot selection from Pujara, who has spent the last few months in England, playing County cricket for Sussex, scoring three centuries and a half-century since April 2023.
“That is leaving it poorly because the front foot has just gone across. It should be going towards the ball; he was looking to play it and then decided whether he should leave it. You see, the way he is leaving it, the off-stump is exposed. The front foot is still middle stump when it’s actually going towards the off stump. Watch that front foot. It should be further across and towards the ball. He thought it was outside the off stump. It was an error in judgment,” Shastri said on air while commenting on the match.
Shastri said Pujara himself would be disappointed by his mode of dismissal as it made it look like he did not where his off stump was.
“We talk about leaving the ball in England and we always talk about knowing where your off stump is. This is not knowing where your off stump is. See, Shubman Gill, being a little lazy with his footwork. He will learn; he is still young, but Pujara will be very disappointed seeing that. It should have been a little further towards the ball and across the line of the ball. That’s why they keep telling you – know where your off stump is,” said the 61-year-old for India coach.
Pujara’s dismissal and that of Virat Kohli for an identical 14 left India struggling at 151/7 in their first innings, trailing Australia by 318 runs with half their batters back in the pavilion.