India vs Australia: ‘Pujara did what Aussies had done to other teams over the years,’ Agarkar recalls 2018 Test series win Down Under
A look back at the 2018 Test series between India and Australia cannot be completed without analysis of Cheteshwar Pujara’s batting performance. Pujara had played a crucial role in the red-ball cricket for India over the years. But his performance Down Under in 2018/19 will always be remembered for the years to come. Pujara was the leading run-scorer in the four-match series, scoring 521 runs in 4 games at an average of 74.43. He scored three tons and it comes as a little surprise that he was awarded the man of the series prize.
But the numbers failed to describe the true impact of the Pujara show. The middle-order batsman toiled with Australia’s potent bowling attack both physically and mentally. He continued to bat for long hours in the middle and drained out the Aussie pace attack. It left Australian bowlers puzzled, tired and frustrated.
Speaking in an interaction on Sony Sports Network channel, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar explained the kind of impact Pujara had in the series.
“That’s exactly what Australia used to do to other teams. They made sure that they batted well. Even if the top order didn’t, someone like Gilchrist came, or Shane Warne contributed, and you were on the field for 100-120 overs. It was always difficult, doesn’t matter how fit you are or how good you are,” Agarkar said.
“That’s exactly what India did to them. Pujara grinded them but the quality on fast bowling on offer was quite something. You could also see that Australia’s batting wasn’t the strongest in that series, but their bowling was far too good,” he further explained.
The fans will hope for a similar outing from Pujara this time around in the four-match series which kicks off Thursday with the highly-anticipated pink-ball Test in Adelaide.