Cheteshwar Pujara talks about his method to counter Kagiso Rabada’s sledging

Cheteshwar Pujara talks about his method to counter Kagiso Rabada’s sledging

Pujara scored a 112-ball 58 on the opening day of the Pune Test.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Cheteshwar Pujara has an unflappable mindset and owing to the quality, he has been able to produce some colossal innings in his Test career. In India’s Test series versus Australia on December-January 2018, MSK Prasad, the national chief selector, hailed him as a modern-day Buddha, saying that the Saurashtra-batter goes into the meditation mode whenever he takes the crease.

Pujara generally remains oblivious to the chaos around him. Recently, Kagiso Rabada tried to ruffle his feathers with some stern words during India’s second Test versus South Africa at the MCA Stadium in Pune. However, Pujara is least worried about the sledging by the Proteas speedster.

On Day One of the game, he got a well-crafted 112-ball 58 in a 138-run stand with centurion Mayank Agarwal. Pujara likes to be in his zone and prefers avoiding any external noise that diverts his mind. He is also mindful of the fact that Rabada will try his level best to disturb his concentration.

Cheteshwar Pujara more focussed on his actions as a batsman  

“As a batsman, I always know that he (Rabada) will try to disturb my concentration, not just him but any bowler, who passes a comment, so I try and avoid (listening to) what they say,” Pujara was quoted as saying in the press-conference after the day’s play.

“If you are in your zone, you hardly hear what they are trying to say as you are too much focussed on what you want to do as batsman. So, when you are in your own zone, you miss out what they are saying,” he added.

Pujara didn’t quite have the greatest of outings in the two-match Test series versus the West Indies. There he could only manage 60 runs at an average of 15. But the 31-year-old batsman managed to get his form back with a sparkling 81 in the second innings of the previous Test.

As far as Rabada is concerned, he has been South Africa’s standout bowler in the Pune Test match. To start with, he got rid of opener Rohit Sharma in a fiery opening burst. Then he nipped out Agarwal and Pujara, both of whom frustrated the visitors’ bowlers with their calm and collected approach.

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