When a jibe from his wife made Cheteshwar Pujara determined to play Nathan Lyon well in Australia
Pujara said his wife’s words made him determined to do well against the offie.
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India’s No.3 batsman in Tests Cheteshwar Pujara had a fabulous last few months in international cricket as he slammed 521 runs in seven innings against Australia Down Under with three hundreds adorning the tally. He also faced a record number of deliveries (1,200 plus) on the tour earning a lot of praise, especially the former greats. The ace batsman, known for his solid technique, turned 31 on Friday and wishes poured in for him from all quarters.
One of the major reasons why Pujara succeeded in the Test series against Australia was his flawless batting against Australian spinner Nathan Lyon who holds an impressive bowling performance against India, much better than his legendary predecessor Shane Warne. Lyon finished as the joint highest wicket-taker in the series with Jasprit Bumrah with 21 scalps and Pujara revealed the story behind his will to neutralize Lyon only after the tour got over.
In the 2014-15 series that India played in Australia, Lyon had played a dominant role behind the hosts’ 2-0 win by claiming 23 wickets. Pujara was dismissed twice by the off-spinner in that series and he scored 56 runs against the bowler at a strike rate of around 43. Pujara was determined to turn the tables around this time and made much improvement in his game against Lyon, scoring 74 runs off 135 deliveries at a strike rate of over 55 and got out to him only once.
‘Who gets out to an off-spinner?’
And the batsman’s determination to play Lyon well emanated from a jibe – not from any coach or former cricketer but his wife Puja who had told him once, “Who gets out to an off-spinner?” The batsman, who is now playing in the Ranji Trophy, revealed this during an interview with The Indian Express and said his wife’s words made him determined to do well against the offie.
Overall though, Lyon has a good record against Pujara whom he has dismissed the most number of times among all Indian batsmen (eight). He has got Ajinkya Rahane out seven times and Virat Kohli on six occasions.