‘Team management has been always supportive, it’s just the outside noise’ – Cheteshwar Pujara on facing criticism due to poor form

‘Team management has been always supportive, it’s just the outside noise’ – Cheteshwar Pujara on facing criticism due to poor form

Pujara scored a timely half-century on Day three of the Johannesburg Test against South Africa.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara has expressed gratitude to the national team management for lending him enough support amidst his indifferent run of form at the highest level. The right-hander said he hasn’t paid heed to the “outside noise” that has been doing the rounds over the past 12 months or so.

Pujara, along with former vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, has had to face plenty of brickbats because of not being able to score runs for Team India in the hours of need. On going through a lean patch, Pujara said that it’s necessary for a cricketer to keep putting in the hard yards and not give up the ghost.

We’ve been working hard, says Cheteshwar Pujara

“The team management has been always supportive, so I would say it’s just the outside noise. The coaching staff, the captain, everyone is behind all the players,” Pujara was quoted as saying to the reporters on Wednesday.

“And we’ve been working hard, there are times when you don’t get too many runs but, the important thing as a cricketer is about following the right routine, having good work ethics, and keep working on your game,” he stated.

Pujara didn’t make the greatest of starts to his campaign in South Africa. He started with a golden duck in the first innings of the opening Test in Centurion and followed it up with a 16-run knock. Pujara flattered to deceive in the first innings of the Johannesburg Test, scoring a pain-staking 33-ball three.

But in the second innings, Pujara gave an account of his true self, scoring 53 runs off 86 balls with the help of 10 fours. On the back of his knock, the visiting team set the Proteas a target of 240 runs.

“Because there are times when you’ll not get runs, but if you follow the right processes, you get runs on the board. So, this is what has happened today and, I am sure this form will continue and we’ll get big scores in the next game as well,” he added.

At the close of play on Day three, South Africa needed 122 runs to win the second Test with eight wickets in hand.