'He could have rotated strike a lot more' - Dale Steyn on Cheteshwar Pujara's 54-ball 8 in WTC Final

‘He could have rotated strike a lot more’ – Dale Steyn on Cheteshwar Pujara’s 54-ball 8 in WTC Final

Pujara got off the mark in 36 balls, before being trapped lbw by Trent Boult on 8.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Dale Steyn
Cheteshwar Pujara and Dale Steyn. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn has weighed in on how Cheteshwar Pujara should have rotated strike while facing New Zealand during India’s World Test Championship final fixture. Going about his business in the usual fashion, Pujara took as many as 36 balls to get off the mark.

He opened his account with a boundary and got another on the immediately next ball, upping the score quickly, but after few more dot balls, he was trapped lbw by Trent Boult on 8 runs off 54 balls. Notably, India’s No. 3 has been in the spotlight often for his slow approach, but Pujara has time and again showed that public opinion does not bother him.

One of India’s most reliable batter and a vital cog in the Test team, the right-handed batter has been seen in the team as an equivalent of the talismanic Rahul Dravid. While there is little to doubt about what Pujara is capable of doing, he has been undergoing a dry spell of sorts, with his last century in the format dating back to January 2019, when he missed a double ton at Sydney by merely 7 runs during India’s historic Australia tour.

There were opportunities for him to rotate strike: Dale Steyn

Opening up on Pujara’s approach, Steyn said: “You want to see somebody like Pujara. Now he faced 50 balls and we know that this is the kind of player that he is. But I’m sure if he looked back and looked at the sample of video analysis, he would find that there are deliveries there where he could have created the opportunity to maybe rotate a little bit more strike.”

“I saw something come up and it was like 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and then a wicket. I’m sure in all those 50 balls, he could have rotated strike and just gotten that scoring to nudge on a little bit for himself and as well as his team.” Steyn said on ESPNCricinfo.

“India would be happy that they haven’t lost as many wicket but they want to be able to keep that scoreboard ticking and keep that rotation going. These are clichés of the game but they all do matter,” he added.