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England v India

Watch: Coming-down-the-track god Cheteshwar Pujara stumped off 20-year-old off-spinner in India warm-up

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: Cheteshwar Pujara, renowned for tackling spinners by stepping down the track, was stumped off the bowling of a rookie off-spinner in the warm-up game against a County Select XI in Chester-Le-Street.

Walking in at No.3 after India’s openers were sent back early in the innings by Lyndon James, Pujara started off with a four off his second ball and moved into the twenties quite comfortably, before he was out stumped in uncharacteristic fashion.

Jack Carson, all of 20 years old, would hardly have foreseen that his 50th first-class victim would be Pujara. What caught Pujara off guard was a fairly quick off-break from the spinner. Stepping out to counter turn is a known approach for Pujara, one that he has excelled in in the past. A stat from CricViz after the Australia tour Down Under earlier this year showed his dominance. It stated that Pujara had been dismissed just three times after coming down the wicket in Test cricket, having done so 1132 times for a whopping average of 276.00.

He stepped out to greet the spinner once again, but on this occasion, Carson’s sharp off-break turned past his inside edge to go through to the wicketkeeper, who reacted brilliantly to catch Pujara out of his crease, another phrase you rarely associate with the Indian No.3 mainstay. It was a proud moment for 17-year-old James Rew, making his professional debut, who had a famous name for his first stumping.

Pujara has only been out stumped once in his entire first-class career, to Graeme Swann in the 2012 Test series against England. However, in the recent Test series against England at home, he was dismissed by spinners on five occasions. Jack Leach, who impressed for England, earned the proud accolade of being the only spinner to dismiss him four times in a bilateral Test series.

Pujara’s record in the inaugural World Test Championship had invited criticism after his twin failures in the final against New Zealand in Southampton. Pujara averages 27.52 in Tests in England, his lowest in any country where he has played more than five Test matches. While his battle with the England quicks is something to watch out for, the latest dismissal to Carson will be keenly watched by Leach.

Watch the dismissal here:

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