In the end, it took a brilliant fielding effort to dismiss the batsman who played a knock of sheer stubbornness. Indian No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara batted for almost all of Thursday’s play, coming to the crease at the end of the second over – and departing only after a magical effort in the field by Pat Cummins with the last ball of the first day of the Adelaide Test between India and Australia.
Cummins got so airborne that at one point his shadow was looking similar to that of a ‘cheetah’. While attempting to save the sharp single attempted by Pujara, the fast bowler got off balanced and with one stump to aim at, he came up with a direct hit that left the batsman well short of his ground.
It was a sensational fielding display which can be rated equal to any of the greats of the craft over the years – think Jonty Rhodes, Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds. He also deserves the credit because Cummins had toiled in the 40-degree scorching day in Adelaide during his 19 energy sapping overs and it begins to define the mindset and determinations of an exceptional cricketer.
In the commentary box, even the Australian great Adam Gilchrist said, “That’s the best run-out ever.” Here is the video of the dismissal:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 6, 2018
It could yet have a huge impact on the Test and series, with Pujara having already added 123 runs with the tail following the dismissal of wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant – the final recognised batsman. And that’s where we leave it for day one.
All said and done, there is no denying the fact that effort of Pujara on the Day 1 can be gauged as one the best knocks of his career so far, not only in terms of batting ability but also about the showing the intent and the old-school Test batting. He demonstrated that he has in him to be the best as he was once playing at 88 off 222 balls and the next 45 runs he scored in just 24 deliveries. That sudden change of gears gave the testimony of his capabilities as a Test cricketer.
The visitors are down to 9/250 with one wicket in hand after Cummins managed to remove Pujara with that excellent run out. While the Aussies will feel they’ve won the day with a consistent fall of wickets as well as the cheap removal of Kohli, it was Pujara who ensured the tourists have a fighting chance, who scored 123 runs from 246 deliveries.
The Aussies now need only knock over one more wicket on Friday before Marcus Harris can stride to the crease for his Test debut with the bat.