None of India’s top four could score past 15 runs despite getting to double figures as Australia are in the driving seat for the WTC Final 2023.
India captain Rohit Sharma’s poor run continued as he was caught in front by his Australian counterpart Pat Cummins. But two in-form batters Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara gifted their wickets, which has hurt India more.
Gill has been in superb form of late. The opener has scored a plethora of runs in limited overs format and was the highest run-scorer in the IPL 2023. The same goes for Cheteshwar Pujara who tested his skills playing County cricket in England just to prepare for this match.
There was a massive expectation in the duo but they both fell cheaply and gifted their wickets to Australia. Both Gill and Pujara left alone a ball which ended up hitting the timber. Scott Boland picked up Gill whereas it was Cameron Green who knocked over Cheteshwar Pujara.
Pujara, who plays at the Oval for Surrey in County Championship, has scored many runs on the same pitch. But he was disappointing with national colours yet again.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri was bemused by the batter and made brutal assessment on air.
“That is leaving it poorly because the front foot has just gone across. It should be going towards the ball; he was looking to play it and then decided whether he should leave it. You see, the way he is leaving it, the off-stump is exposed.
The front foot is still middle stump when it’s actually going towards off stump. Watch that front foot. It should be further across and towards the ball. He thought it was outside the off stump. It was an error in judgment,” Shastri said during his commentary stint.
It is the manner of dismissal which must have been hurting the Indians the most. Both Gill and Pujara made an error of judgement which is so unlikely given their class and the technique they possess. And Shastri was particularly disappointed with the latter.
“We talk about leaving the ball in England and we always talk about knowing where your off stump is. This is not knowing where your off stump is. See, Shubman Gill is a little lazy with his footwork. He will learn; he is still young, but Pujara will be very disappointing seeing that. It should have been a little further towards the ball and across the line of the ball,” the former Indian coach added.