Sydney, Jan 9 (IANS) Australian bowlers are countering Cheteshwar Pujara’s patience with patience in the ongoing series against India with fast bowler Pat Cummins revealing that they have planned to frustrate him and the Indian batting by drying up his run-scoring even if it requires bowling 200-300 balls in an innings at him.
Cummins’s spell of four for 29 in India’s first innings of the third Test on Saturday included the wicket of Pujara, who had scored three centuries on way to aggregating 521 runs at 74.5 on the previous tour in 2018-19 and had earned man of the series award. This time though, the India No. 3 has struggled and made just 113 runs in five innings so far at an average of 22.6.
“You know he is going to hang around a bit. As long you are controlling the scoreboard… if we continue to keep bowling well and field tightly, we are not overly bothered,” Cummins told reporters after the match.
“I think we have got ahead of him in this series. For him to score runs we are going to make it as hard as possible. Whether he bats for 200, 300 balls we try and bowl good ball after good ball, challenge both sides of his bat. Fortunately it has worked so far,” Cummins added.
The Australia pacer, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, recalled a stage from the third day’s play on Saturday when he looked up at the scoreboard only to find to his pleasure that India have not moved.
“I think at one stage he had been out there for 150 balls or so. I remember looking up at the scoreboard and saying they are still 200 runs away from our first innings total. So that fell a long away,” added Cummins.
Cummins’s wicket of Pujara came in the second session as the Aussie pacer bowled a back-of-the-length delivery that reared up from a wicket that was deteriorating. He says he was lucky to get the ball to jump.
“For that one today, I seemed to get assistance from the pitch. It seemed to jump up a little but he is someone you know you have to bowl a lot at,” added the India top-order batsman.
Cummins said he was hoping at the start they don’t have a long day and was happy to see Indian bowlers bowl three days in a row.
“At the start of the day, I was hoping that we don’t end the day still having to bowl. With a 200-run lead, eight wickets in hand with the wicket deteriorating quickly, it is a great result. Also getting their bowlers back on, they have now bowled three days in a row, those things all add up,” added Cummins.
The Aussie pace bowler added that he is bowling with a good rhythm and has great control on the ball.
“It is right up there, the rhythm feels really good. It just feels like I have got pretty good control not just on where the ball is landing but I guess the seam movement as well. I feel like I have beaten them in and out a lot more than I have in the past. Hopefully this continues,” he said.