There are times when strike rate hardly matters: Cheteshwar Pujara
Though Pujara produced match-defining knocks in both the third and fourth Tests, he was put under major scrutiny for his low strike-rate.
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In recent times, Cheteshwar Pujara has emerged as the backbone of India’s batting line-up in the purest format of the game. The batsman has often stood like a wall on the board taking all the blows without giving away his wicket to help India win the games. Pujara played an underrated yet crucial role this time too as India scripted a memorable victory against Australia in the four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy by 2-1.
Pujara was the highest run-getter for India during the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19 (521 at 41.41 strike rate and three hundreds). However, this time the batsman took time to get into the groove as he could score only 271 runs at 29.20 and three half-centuries. Opining on both the tours, the Rajkot-born reckoned that both the wins are extremely special to him but the circumstances were a little tough this time.
“Both tours have been fantastic for the team and personally I did well on both tours but the circumstances were completely different. This time I was starting up after a long time, almost eight months (due to COVID-19), there were no first class games also,” Pujara said as quoted by Outlook India.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t batting well but they hardly bowled any loose balls: Cheteshwar Pujara
Though Pujara produced match-defining knocks in both the third and fourth Tests, he was put under major scrutiny for his low strike-rate. Speaking about the same, the 33-year-old asserted that not every time strike rate matters as every batsman has a role to play in the team.
Pujara believes that the team management including Ravi Shastri and Ajinkya Rahane are aware of the same and revealed that it was difficult to score runs as the Australian bowlers were hardly making any mistakes or giving loose balls. He added that with quality bowlers, one is bound to score runs at a slow pace.
“There are times when strike rate hardly matters. Every batter has a role to play. The team management completely understands that. Whether it was Ravi bhai (coach) or Vicky bhai (batting coach) or Ajinkya, they just told me to keep batting the way I bat.
“The batting coach also mentioned that Aussies were not giving anything away. So, it wasn’t that I wasn’t batting well but they hardly bowled any loose balls. I had to take extra time to score those runs. I always saw the bigger picture because I knew that it would be tough for the bowlers to run through the side if I was around at the other end,” Cheteshwar Pujara concluded.