Cheteshwar Pujara became the second Indian batsman to be hit on the helmet in the final of ICC world test championship. It was Shubhman Gill whose helmet was rammed by a rising delivery from Kyle Jamieson earlier in the day. In a similar case, Cheteshwar Pujara too got the same treatment from a short ball by Neil Wagner. Moreover, Wagner is a short ball specialist. Hence, it was expected that he would test Indian batsmen technique with rising balls aimed at head. But since Pujara is a defensive batsman, the sight of him getting beaten by while playing a pull shot was quite uncommon for Indian fans.
The incident happened in the 37th over of the Indian innings. Neil Wagner was bowling this over and Pujara was on the strike. It was the second delivery of the over and Wagner bowled his stock ball, a short ball. Rather than leaving it, Pujara tried to take on the delivery in a very Un-Pujara like batsmanship. However, he misread the pace and by the time he played his pull, the ball had already gone past his bat and banged in his helmet.
Terrible blow to Pujara!
Such ferocious was the blow into his helmet that its sideguards fell off at the point of contact. However, to his credit Pujara despite taking the ball onto his head looked rather calm instead of getting rattled up. The physio came running to the right hand batsman but returned soon after seeing that he need not worry as there was no any serious issue with Pujara.
Moreover, the batsman kept batting with the same defensive technique of him. In an interesting moment, the bowler Neil Wagner again delivered a short ball to Pujara. However, this time the right hand batsman did not take the bait. He calmly went low and watched the ball sail over his head. That was a typical Pujara like shot (or lack of it).
Both the batsman and the bowler shared a smile after that as if they appreciated each other’s effort.
Watch the video of the moment as ball clangs into Cheteshwar Pujara’s helmet: