Cheteshwar Pujara’s style of batsmanship is integral to Team India’s success and critics who haven’t achieved anything close to what he has for the country should just take it a bit easy, feels former captain and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Sachin Backs Pujara
The discussion picked up pace during India’s Test series against Australia Down Under, where he scored 271 runs in four matches at a strike rate of 29.20. In the subsequent series against England, the Rajkot-born batter registered 133 runs in four matches, with his strike-rate column reading 40.06.
Reacting to the flak the batsman has been copping recently, batting great Sachin Tendulkar, in an interview to PTI, said that Pujara’s style has led to India’s success and that people should appreciate him instead of criticising him.
“I think we should appreciate what Cheteshwar Pujara has been able to achieve for India. It’s not always going about and maintaining a strike-rate and in Test cricket, you need different kind of planning and different kind of players to fit into your team,” Tendulkar said.
He added: “It’s like five fingers in your hands. Each finger has a different role and Pujara is an integral part of our team. I really like what Pujara has done for India. Rather than scrutinising his each innings, we should be appreciative of what he has done for India.
Tendulkar, 48, also called out Pujara’s critics, ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final between Virat Kohli‘s India and Kane Williamson‘s New Zealand, saying they haven’t even played as much top-level cricket as Pujara has.
“Guys who are digging deep into his technique and rotation, I don’t think those guys have played as much top-level cricket as Pujara.”
Tendulkar feels that people’s perspective has changed because of T20 where only one skill – hitting the ball out of the park – is appreciated.
“They possibly don’t understand. In today’s age of T20, probably if someone can hit the ball, he is regarded as a good player,” he said with a hint of sarcasm. “(It is) not necessary that person has to be a good Test player. In Test cricket, you need much more than just hitting the ball and trying to play big shots.”
The grand finale, which will bring down the curtains on a two-year-long tournament, will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The match will begin on June 18. It will be followed by a five-match Test series against England which starts in August.