‘It’s the biggest regret’ – Cheteshwar Pujara opens up on the pull shot that led to his dismissal in the Christchurch Test
Pujara is an epitome of an old school batsman and he believes in grinding it out for hours for his team.
Updated - Mar 16, 2020 12:18 pm
The Indian cricket team recently suffered a chastening whitewash (0-2) in the two-match Test series during the tour of New Zealand. On tracks which favoured seam-and-swing, the Indian batting-unit once again failed to come up with the goods, paving way for back-to-back collapses, and underwhelming first-innings total.
India’s worst collapse possibly came in the first innings of the Christchurch where– despite half-centuries from Prithvi Shaw, Cheteswar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari– the No.1 ranked Test side in the world was knocked over for 242 after they lost their last six wickets for a mere 48 runs.
The reason for that collapse was uncharacteristic strokes from the duo of Hanuma Vihari and Cheteshwar Pujara, in particular. Pujara, after having done all the hard work proceeded to take on the bumper from Kyle Jamieson, but in an attempt to play the pull shot, and all he could manage is top-edge it straight to BJ Watling, something the Indian No.3 regrets to the core.
“For me, the biggest regret is the shot that I played during the second Test where I tried to pull. I don’t usually. I never play that kind of a shot. It happened instinctively. I still run it, I wonder how it happened. Once I am set, I never give my wicket away,” Pujara was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
‘Test matches are getting fewer day by day’: Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara is an epitome of an old school batsman. He believes in grinding it out for hours for his team; he almost treats batting like a meditation. When asked whether the younger generation understands his style-of-play, Pujara agreed with it, but also added that none of them would copy their style since they get to see a lot more white-ball cricket, as compared to red-ball cricket.
“I agree. But the young generation does understand my game. Then, Test matches are getting fewer day by day, there are more white-ball games happening. So they won’t copy my style because my batting approach suits Test cricket (more). It’s not that I cannot change gears, I can play in shorter formats too. Many people have not seen me bat in white-ball cricket on TV. I know I take some time (to get in) but that’s the way I have been taught when growing up,” he added.
There is nothing wrong in batting slowly, says Pujara
There has been a lot of talk around Pujara’s strike-rate of-late. From Ian Chappell to skipper Virat Kohli, everyone has been raving about the ‘intent’ that he needs to show. But the Indian No.3 isn’t fazed by all of this. After all, it was his marathon effort in Australia where he wore down the bowlers to the hilt, that paved way for the eventual series win.
“In the first innings, I took some 200-odd balls to score 60 something but my teammates and I knew how tough the wicket was. It was a final and there was a responsibility on my shoulders.”
He added– “There is nothing wrong with batting slowly if the situation depends. I have to keep my ego behind, the ego of me being an international batsman and facing some bowlers who bowl at 110 mph. If the situation is not easy and I know I can’t play my shots, then I will not. Game changes as per the pitch. Like in New Zealand, where the pitches were more challenging.”