After his Man-of-the-Series performance on India's last tour of Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara was the most prized wicket for the hosts in this series. And it was their main man, the No.1-ranked bowler in Tests, Pat Cummins, who dismissed Pujara in five of his eight innings. Pujara has a habit of getting bowled, but bowling at the stumps had not worked for Australia last time around, so Cummins kept testing him in the channel outside off and had him out nicking four times.
Adelaide, 2nd inns
India had a 53-run first-innings lead in Adelaide, but then stumbled to 15 for 2. Cummins got Australia right back in the game by dismissing Pujara for a duck. He bowled a few deliveries on the fifth stump line, which Pujara left, then angled one in that Pujara had to play. It was on the perfect length, which made Pujara play half forward, and he nicked as the ball just straightened a bit.
MCG, 1st inns
Pujara had been playing Cummins fairly comfortably off the front foot, but for this ball, Cummins pulled the length back a tad and Pujara was caught on the crease. The ball moved away after pitching, squaring Pujara up and taking a thick edge that Time Paine did well to catch diving to his right. Cummins had Pujara for a second time to leave India 64 for 3.
MCG, 2nd inns
India were chasing just 70, but Cummins gave Australia a sniff, dismissing Pujara for 3 to leave India 19 for 2. This was quite wide outside off stump and full, but Pujara poked at it and got a thick edge that flew to gully. It was an uncharacteristic shot away from the body from Pujara, perhaps caused by Cummins making him play so much in the series until then.
SCG, 1st inns
Once Pujara gets set, it usually takes a special delivery to get him out, and Cummins produced one in Sydney after Pujara had played 175 balls for 50 runs. It was in that channel outside off again, but this one jumped off a length to hit the bat handle and go through to the keeper. It was the effort ball from Cummins, and the strike gave Australia a dominant position, leaving India 195 for 6 with the tail exposed.
Gabba, 2nd inns
India were on course to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after batting out 78 overs on a fifth-day Gabba pitch. Australia's last hope was to strike with the second new ball, and Cummins did that immediately. Pujara had played 210 balls for 54, but this one came back in sharply and hit him on the back pad in front of middle. India went on to complete an epic win, but Cummins was the one Australia bowler who never stopped looking threatening.