Cheteshwar Pujara has had an abysmal outing in South Africa failing to create an impact with the bat in the first two Test matches. India lost the second Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion by a significant 135 runs as the Proteas bowlers ran havoc on the Indian middle order. Coming to bat on the 5th and final day for the visitors, few would have expected Pujara to get sent back in the baffling way that he did. He owned an unwanted record of becoming the first Indian to get run out twice in the same Test match. While chasing 287 for his side, Pujara did nothing for the team’s cause but instead submitted to a blinder which is sure to haunt him in coming days.
Pujara got dismissed twice in a similar fashion in both the innings of the Centurion Test handing the South Africans easy breakthroughs. He became the 25th player in the history of Test cricket to get run-out twice in a game and joined the likes of Ian Healy, Mark Taylor and Marvan Atapattu who feature in the list. Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming was the last batsman to get dismissed twice by a run-out. Pujara’s ordinary pace in between the wickets cost India largely as South Africans capitalised on the blunder and wrapped up the Indian innings shortly.
Parthiv Patel played a shot towards the third man in the 27th over and signalled his strike partner Pujara to run two, after successfully completing a couple of runs and the ball still racing down towards the boundary the two Indian batsmen thought it was time to add a run more but Lungi Ngidi upped the ante and ran hard pulling off a dive to loft it back into Ab de Villiers hand, who was giving him back up during the chase. De Villiers caught it well and quickly sent it into keeper Quinton de Kock’s gloves. Before Pujara could realise he was a bit too far from the crease, the South African keeper took off the bails and the Indian fell short.
Earlier in the first innings too, Pujara was run-out by Ngidi in a bid to take a quick single. India lost the match giving away the series 2-0. Virat Kohli’s men will have a consolation win in their minds when they take field in the third Test at Johannesburg. Ngidi ran through the Indian low order to finish the innings with six wickets off 39 runs.