India vs England, Pink-Ball Test: Cheteshwar Pujara dismissed for duck for the first time at a Gujarat venue

Pujara – who walked into the middle to a huge cheer following the dismissal of opener Shubman Gill in Team India’s first innings – didn’t stay long at the crease as he was trapped plumb in front by English spinner Jack Leach. Pujara had faced just three deliveries prior to the LBW dismissal and left the field in disappointment as the ‘new wall’ of Indian cricket perished without getting off the mark.

Before this innings, Pujara had scores of 206* vs England in Ahmedabad 2012/13; 124 vs England in Rajkot 2016/17; 86 vs West Indies in Rajkot 2018/19.

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Fans, as well as teammates, were hoping for a big knock from Pujara at the newly constructed Motera Stadium, which has now been re-christened to Narendra Modi Stadium, which owns the reputation of being the world’s largest cricket stadium.

The state-of-the-art stadium was inaugurated by President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind and he was joined by Union Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah graced the stadium ahead of the match.

Earlier in the day, Amit Shah – who has been the head of the Gujarat Cricket Association in the past – while addressing the gathering during the inauguration ceremony of the iconic stadium had a special request for Gujarat cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara.

“This stadium is very memorable for Javagal Srinath. He took six wickets against South Africa, on the same ground, Kapil Dev broke Richard’s Hadlee tally of wickets. On this same ground, Sunil Gavaskar achieved the milestone of 10,000 runs. On this same ground, Sachin Tendulkar achieved 18,000 ODI runs and he completed his 20 years in international cricket here. I wish Pujara scores double century here and he helps India to win against England,” said Shah.

Meanwhile, another Gujarat boy stole the show with the ball as Axar Patel returned with impressive figures of 6/38 as the entire English side folded for a paltry 112 in 48.4 overs. R Ashwin (3/26) and Ishant Sharma (1/26) were the other Indian bowlers who picked up the wickets at regular intervals. Opener Zak Crawley – playing his first match on the Indian soil – was the top-scorer for England with an impressive 53 while the rest of batting fell like nine pins.

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