Former England captain Michael Vaughan was critical of the way Cheteshwar Pujara batted on Day 4 of the first Test between India and England. He reckons that Pujara did not look in any sort of form whatsoever.
India’s number three walked in late on Day 4 after the fall of KL Rahul. He dealt with a couple of plays and misses but remained unbeaten on 23* at stumps.
“How Pujara survived, I will never know. He didn’t look in any kind of rhythm or form,” Michael Vaughan said.
Cheteshwar Pujara has had a difficult couple of years in Test cricket. He has aggregated just 543 runs at an average of a shade below 25 since the start of 2020.
He was dismissed cheaply in the first innings of the Trent Bridge Test as well, falling to James Anderson for just 4. This could be a crucial innings for Pujara personally, as well as for India.
“We have seen the Indian team panic before” – Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan admitted that India are the favorites to win the first Test moving into the final day. However, he pointed out India’s dismal record at chasing down totals in the fourth innings.
The former English batter doesn’t want to write off England’s chances quite yet.
“India are on top. They are the favorites, but you just never know. We have seen this England team before, we have seen this Indian team in English conditions, chasing down this kind of number and losing a few wickets and they start to panic. You say the pitch has to deteriorate so much and it can. Sometimes it can happen. The clouds might roll in. The ball starts hooping around,” Michael Vaughan added.
India have a poor record of chasing in the fourth innings, especially when it comes to England. During the 2018 tour to England, India failed to chase targets down on all three occasions when they batted in the fourth innings.
Though India have got off to a good start, the target could yet prove to be tricky, especially if the ball starts moving around.
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