Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal result of good captaincy and bowling: Ajit Agarkar
- Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed for a golden duck by Lungi Ngidi in the first Test in Centurion
- Pujara has been going through a poor form since January 2019
- He now has most ducks for India at No. 3
Cheteshwar Pujara’s tour of South Africa started on a disappointing note on Sunday as the Indian batter got dismissed for a golden duck in the first Test at the SuperSportPark, Centurion. While playing Lungi Ngidi's delivery that shaped back in, Pujara edged it to Keegan Petersen at the short leg, handing India two successive blows in the second session.
This was Pujara’s second golden duck in Test cricket and with this nought, he bagged an unwanted record. An orthodox batter, Pujara now has the most ducks for India at the No. 3 position in the longest format of the sport. He went past Dilip Vengsarkar's tally of eight ducks.
This duck will also add pressure on Pujara since he has been out of form since January 2019. The right-handed batter made just 95 runs in the recent Test series against New Zealand but was given a long rope along with Ajinkya Rahane for the Test series opener in South Africa.
Talking about Pujara’s dismissal, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said that things would have been a bit different if the experienced batter had spent some time at the crease. He also praised Ngidi for revising his bowling approach after lunch.
"Had Pujara spent some time in the middle, things would have been easier for him. But good captaincy and bowling by the opposition. Ngidi changed his approach.
"Ngidi was trying to bowl outswing at the start and the line was also outside off. In this spell, he bowled deliveries that nipped in and trouble the batters. Those two wickets of Mayank and Pujara were crucial for South Africa. India would have been in a commanding position if the opening stand wasn't broken," said Agarkar on Star Sports.
India lost two quick wickets after opener Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed by Ngidi in two back to back deliveries in the 41st over. India’s captain Virat Kohli has also departed after Ngidi struck.
India were given a fantastic start by opening KL Rahul and Agarwal. They shared a 117-run partnership. At the time of publishing this report, Rahul was batting on 91 not out.