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India vs South Africa: Pujara Second Slowest Indian to Get Off the Mark In Tests

Cricketnext | Updated: January 25, 2018, 1:42 PM IST
India vs South Africa: Pujara Second Slowest Indian to Get Off the Mark In Tests

A file photo of Cheteshwar Pujara. (AP)

New Delhi: India's struggle in the ongoing South Africa series doesn't seem to come to end. After having lost the first two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion, India would have hoped for better performance in the final Test at Johannesburg. But come the third Test, it was same old struggle for Indian batsmen against the South African pacers.

After two quick dismissals —Murali Vijay and KL Rahul— the opposition bowlers looked in total control. India no. 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was in the line of fire of the Protean pacers. They kept testing him outside the off-stump, peppered him with short deliveries, and made the ball bounce awkwardly into Pujara's pads. The lines were so tight that Pujara had no scoring opportunities. In fact he was forced to leave deliveries that were pitched on the middle-stump too.

After having endured that burst from the pacers, Pujara finally got off the mark on the 54th ball of his innings. This way, he saved himself from getting an unwanted record — of taking the most deliveries to open the account by an Indian. The record is held by former India spinner Rajesh Chauhan, who took 57 deliveries to open his account against Sri Lanka in 1994.

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Even after getting first runs on the board, the batsman looked a bit tentative on the crease. At lunch on Day 1, Pujara had only managed to score 5 runs.

Earlier, during the second Test at Centurion, Pujara achieved a rare feat of becoming the first Indian batsman to be run-out twice in a Test match. Overall, he is the 25th player to lose his wicket twice through run out.
First Published: January 25, 2018, 7:50 AM IST

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