‘Cheteshwar Pujara’s Ability is to Occupy the Crease and Tire Out Bowlers’, Sunil Gavaskar Heaps Praise on Test Veteran

Edited By: Vivek Ganapathy

Last Updated: March 03, 2023, 09:32 IST

Cheteshwar Pujara’s 59-run stand off 149 deliveries in Indore during Day 2 of the third Test between hosts India and Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series was the saving grace for the home side that was bundled out for a paltry 163 in the second innings of the match.

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon’s masterclass at the Holkar Stadium wreaked havoc in the Indian batting order as the tricky spinner from New South Wales picked up eight wickets in the second innings on Thursday.

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Pujara’s valiant stand took helped India post a lead of 75 runs before being wrapped up by the Aussies. And Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar took notice of the lone ranger’s resistance to Australian bowling.

Gavaskar praised Pujara and pointed out the three things he finds most appealing in the 35-year-old’s nature.

“He showed three things – great patience, good technique and then the intent. Whenever he got a slight chance to punch the ball, he was scoring runs. Whenever he got a chance, he stepped out and drove the ball. In the end, he even hit a six after stepping out,” the legendary Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar opined that Pujara’s biggest strength was his ability to adapt and adjust to varying situations and circumstances that may arise in any given game of Test cricket.

“His intention was always to score runs and that he doesn’t have to just stand on the pitch. We saw his knocks in Brisbane and Sydney, there he was trying to tire the bowlers. Cheteshwar Pujara knows extremely well how to adjust his game according to the match situation,” the 73-year-old said.

The legendary batter went on to emphasise how crucial Pujara’s ability to stay at the crease was,

“You need defensive ability in Test cricket, where you can keep out the good balls. If you are a genius like Tendulkar or Sehwag, who used to hit boundaries off good balls, they have a different ability, but Cheteshwar Pujara’s ability is to occupy the crease and tire out the bowlers,” the Mumbaikar said.

Australia will head into bat on Day 3 of the Test in Indore with a lowly target of 75 runs to score, in order to reduce the arrears in the series, which India currently heads 2-0.

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