Former Indian Captain Sunil Gawaskar stated saying that Cheteshwar Pujara’s early fall back in the seventh over of the final day of the Chennai Test fifth day put paid to India’s hopes of saving the first Test against England.
The Indian batting mainstay closed the face of the bat against a sharp-turning delivery from Jack Leach and edged a catch to Ben Stokes at first slip.
The cricketer-turned-commentator during a discussion on Aaj Tak reasoned that Pujara is the stabilizing factor in the Indian batting lineup and eases the job of the batsmen at the other end.
“Definitely not, because of the stubbornness and heart the Indian team had shown in the Sydney Test it seemed even if they lose they will take the match to the last few overs. Cheteshwar Pujara’s early dismissal was the biggest setback for India as he was dismissed in the first half an hour itself,” said Gavaskar.
Sunil Gavaskar observed that the dismissal of Shubham Gill and Ajinkya Rahane was the main reason behind India’s short fall to save the Test.
“So, when he got out early it was necessary that there was a good partnership but that did not happen because after that Shubman Gill got out after a few runs and Ajinkya Rahane also got out in the same over. If half the team is back in the pavilion at lunch time, with only 110 runs on the board, it is difficult to save the match,” pointed out Gavaskar.
Gavaskar says in an optimistic note, that Team India has to come out all guns blazing in the second Test against England, just as they did in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“We had seen in Adelaide that India were dismissed for 36 runs and bounced back after that. I hope that despite this loss, the Indian team will come back strongly in the second Test starting on the same ground on Saturday,” concluded Sunil Gavaskar.
Another mistake for Team India in the series would end their chances of qualifying for the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.
“If our main batsmen had scored runs in the first innings, then if the Indian team had reached close to 578 runs, the match would have been drawn. But this happens in cricket, sometimes there is a collapse,” said Gavaskar.