Smart planning, smarter execution - how Vidarbha plotted Cheteshwar Pujara's fall

Smart planning, smarter execution - how Vidarbha plotted Cheteshwar Pujara's fall | ESPNcricinfo.com Smart planning, smarter execution - how Vidarbha plotted Cheteshwar Pujara's fall --> < > MenuESPN ScoresAll cricket scores, fixtures and results here. More ESPNEdition Smart planning, smarter execution - how Vidarbha plotted Cheteshwar Pujara's fall10mSaurabh Somani in NagpurThrough clouds of overthought and failure, a better Australian team emerges4hDaniel BrettigEchoes of the past in Holder's clear and present future5hMark NicholasA Caribbean triumph that the cricket world can rejoice in witnessing1dGeorge Dobell in Antigua'It's still my goal to play 100 Tests' - Darren Bravo2hGeorge Dobell in AntiguaWhat does India's World Cup line-up look like?4hAakash Chopra'Don't worry, I've got this' - calm Phehlukwayo does the job for Miller53mESPNcricinfo staffODI mindset may be behind England's poor Test batting - Trevor Bayliss15hAlan GardnerOutclassed and out-fought ... England's boy racers run out of road2dGeorge Dobell in AntiguaJoe Root calls on batsmen to take responsibility after latest Windies debacle2dAndrew Miller'I consider Kedar Jadhav a proper spinner' - Rohit Sharma21hESPNcricinfo staff'As a bowling unit India were superb' - Williamson23hESPNcricinfo staffMaxwell fumes at 'extraordinary decision' over Dunk dismissal11hAlex MalcolmJason Holder dedicates Test triumph to Alzarri Joseph after death of mother2dESPNcricinfo staffNo grovelling, just WInning2dAndrew MillerWhy do Australia rate the player with potential over the one in hand?4dJarrod KimberHow Kuldeep and Chahal have contained the New Zealand batsmen5dAakash ChopraSouthee's quest for an upswing5dAlagappan MuthuAn outsider asks: what's going on with English cricket?5dSanjay ManjrekarHow to apologise: a primer for cricketers2dAndrew Fidel FernandoAn island of legends: Desmond Haynes picks his greatest Barbados Test XI14dESPNcricinfo staffKatie Perkins finds the right balance as full-time cop12dShashank KishoreJemimah Rodrigues: ready for lift-off12dAnnesha GhoshCar mechanic to pace merchant - the rags-to-renown story of Tanveer-ul-Haq12dSaurabh SomaniTaskin Ahmed ruled out of ODI series in New Zealand22hESPNcricinfo staffSixers seal semi-final spot in the rain2dImrul Kayes, Mohammad Saifuddin handed central contracts2dESPNcricinfo staffMichael Klinger announces BBL retirement2dAlex MalcolmSelector Greg Chappell set to retire from CA2dDaniel BrettigCA consider extended family time for England trip2dDaniel BrettigDe Kock and du Plessis out of Pakistan T20Is3dLiam BrickhillIndia to play New Zealand and Bangladesh in 2019 World Cup warm-ups3dESPNcricinfo staff'KL Rahul has proven he can succeed in all three formats' - Rahul Dravid3dESPNcricinfo staffSlippery fingers aggravate Sri Lanka's torrid day3dMelinda Farrell at the Manuka OvalCanberra's Test dream started with Fingleton scoreboard3dDaniel Brettig at the Manuka OvalSmart planning, smarter execution - how Vidarbha plotted Cheteshwar Pujara's fallPujara became Sarwate's third victim of the day Getty ImagesFacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerEmail7:03 AM ETSaurabh Somani in NagpurFacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerPinterestEmailprint

A well-laid plan and a bowler who could execute it to precision were the ingredients that gave Vidarbha Cheteshwar Pujara's prized wicket for just one in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 final on Monday.

Pujara had come out with Saurashtra at 79 for two in reply to Vidarbha's 312, and the two best opposition bowlers were in operation: Umesh Yadav from the Secretary End, and Aditya Sarwate from the Pavilion End. Sarwate had bowled two spells of two overs each from the other end before changing, and had just dismissed Vishwaraj Jadeja, the batsman playing for the turn to the arm ball and trapped in front.

Pujara had one ball to face in the over, the 26th, which he came forward to, and it rolled off a thick bottom edge. Snell Patel didn't get off strike in Umesh's next over, and when Sarwate came back, a forward short leg was put in place immediately. A slip and silly point, placed smartly parallel to the stumps, were already there, and Vidarbha were telling Pujara that they were attacking both his outside and inside edges.

The silly-point fielder was almost a short gully, waiting to pouch anything that would fly off the outside edge, however softly Pujara might tap it. The close-in cordon showed how well Vidarbha's think tank, led by head coach Chandrakant Pandit, had read the pitch as well as the batsman - the bounce was low, and Pujara plays with soft hands, so the edges were not going to carry straight and high.

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To make the plan work, Sarwate bowled straight lines, and a length the forced the batsman to play him. Pujara had already jumped out of the crease a couple of times to defend, but had spotted the dangers. So he was trying to defend from the crease, but was still tentative. He played out a maiden.

In his next over, Sarwate maintained the same line of attack. The first ball, Pujara prodded towards short leg. The next one, he again lunged forward to defend, but then improvised to tap the ball just short of the close-in fielder on the off side. The slight bounce and turn might have created a sliver of doubt in Pujara's mind as he appeared to be in two minds trying to defend the next delivery. The ball had pitched on a length that drew him forward, but Pujara stopped midway, attempted to play it down, but the bounce meant a thick outside edge off the top of his bat and Wasim Jaffer neatly, and gleefully, accepted the offering.

Vijay Dahiya, the former India wicketkeeper who was commentating on TV at the time, said the wicket was a tribute to Vidarbha's smart planning. 'The field placement according to me is always as per the batsman. Full marks to Vidarbha's management here,' Dahiya told ESPNcricinfo. 'There had been a partnership going on earlier, and there was not a short-leg fielder then. Pujara coming in, such a big name, and straightaway there was a short leg in. And that silly point fielder was absolutely adjacent there. That's how you take big wickets, with a game plan.

'If you look at this pitch, there is not much bounce, so it's not going to go straight. Even the catch that went to slip, it didn't carry at normal height, it was going down. When you don't have enough bounce, you try and pitch it inside. Full marks to their thinking, especially against someone who has had a fantastic Australia trip, and came from the semi-finals scoring a match-winning 131 not out. Credit goes to the bowler as well in bowling in the right area.'

The wicket took Sarwate's season's tally to 47. In Vidarbha's semi-final win against Kerala, which was wrapped up inside two days, Sarwate didn't get to bowl a single ball, with Umesh and his fellow pacers cleaning up the opposition. Back at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur with its spin-friendly pitch, Sarwate may have just bowled the most significant 10 balls of the game.

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