'Dropping catches won’t help': Cheteshwar Pujara slammed by internet
- Pujara on Friday dropped Keegan Petersen, who scored 82 in the fourth innings
- It was the second time he dropped a catch in the Cape Town Test
- Pujara has been under scrutiny and is likely to be excluded from the team in the next series for his series of failures
Cheteshwar Pujara has been at the receiving end of cricket fans due to his poor patch of form. His total contribution to the Indian cricket team in the ongoing Freedom Series against South Africa is mere 124 runs in three matches at an average of 20.66. His highest score is 54, which he scored in the Johannesburg Test. He has been under fire for his string of failures since the 2018-19 Australia tour.
Now, on Friday, against South Africa in a series-deciding third Test, Pujara dropped a sitter offered by Keegan Petersen, who scored 82. Though Petersen was dismissed was by Shardul Thakur in the following over, it was the second time Pujara dropped a catch in South Africa’s fourth innings. Two dropped catches had surely hurt India’s chances in the match. For Pujara, this poor show both as a batter and fielder would surely show him the way to the exit from the Indian team. With youngsters like Hanuma Vihari, who was excluded from the side for the Cape Town Test, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer waiting for more opportunities, Pujara’s chances of playing for India in near future is slim.
On Friday, after he dropped two catches, people on the internet vented their anger on the cricketer and brutally criticised him. In all likelihood, this poor string of performances will be the final nail in the coffin when Chetan Sharma and his colleagues pick the squad for the next Test series in India.
The Indian cricket team has never given such a long run to a cricketer despite failing to play big innings. In the last two years, Pujara, along with Ajinkya Rahane, has failed consistently and found success not even sporadically whereas it should have been the other way round.
It seemed that team management and the selectors were bent on giving them every chance to succeed. And they have been blowing those away.
India will next play Sri Lanka at home in February-March, and Pujara is unlikely to find a space in the team.