It has been a great year for Team India in the longer format of the game, where the unit won Tests in all the overseas tour they played except for the lone disappointment at the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
However, the team did face some area of challenge, something that the management are yet to find answers to. One of those areas has been Cheteshwar Pujara’s form, a dip which has led to massive backlash against India’s Test specialist.
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In the Centurion Test, which India won by 113 runs, Pujara was dismissed on golden duck in the first innings and the batter managed just 16 in the 64 deliveries he faced in the second.
Reacting to Pujara’s ominous show, former Test opener Aakash Chopra believes that the batter is not thinking about scoring runs, which puts him in a vulnerable situation.
“I feel the biggest problem is that Pujara is again not thinking about runs. His best friend is his patience, his second-best friend is his defense and he has started living with these two friends so much that he has forgotten about the third, which is the most important, that is scoring runs,” said Chopra in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
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The ex-India player also questioned Pujara’s intent, adding that the Saurashtra cricketer just keeps waiting for loose deliveries making the opposition much brave against him.
“He just keeps the bat in the middle with very little intent it seems. It is neither going forward nor back. If he is not trying to play shots, he is waiting for half-volleys, a ball on the legs or a short ball where he can play the cut. If you don’t get bad balls regularly, which you don’t get in Test cricket, then a long time passes without you having scored runs. Then you get the wicket-taking balls and we all talk about why Pujara gets so many wicket-taking balls, it is because the bowlers are not scared that they will be hit for fours and they keep bowling at one spot and they bowl the magic ball,” he added.
As per data available on ESPNcricinfo.com, Pujara was part of 14 Test matches this year, in which he came to bat in 26 innings. He accumulated 702 runs batting at an average of 28.08 with 91 being his highest score.