Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt criticized Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for not scoring enough runs despite playing more than 200 balls in the second innings against England at Lord’s.
After England took a 27-run lead in the first innings, Durham bowler Mark Wood got the wickets of Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul even before India could cross the deficit.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli seemed in good touch when he started but just before lunch, he perished off Sam Curran’s full-length delivery that took the batsman’s edge.
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara lead India’s fightback against England
Pujara along with Ajinkya Rahane resurrected India’s inning after they were 53/3 after Kohli was dismissed. Pujara scored his first run when he faced his 35th ball of the innings and got a huge cheer from the crowd at Lord’s.
Cheteshwar Pujara should have scored 70 after playing 200 balls: Salman Butt
Pujara made 45 from 206 balls, something which did not please the former Pakistan skipper Butt, who believes the batsman could have at least scored 70 runs and also said that India were 35 runs short at the end of the penultimate day.
“After India lost three wickets, their defensive mechanism was on. Obviously, they would have been worried. Had they lost a few more wickets, the game could have been over the same day. But, speaking about Cheteshwar Pujara, he faced more than 200 balls and scored 45 runs,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
“After being so experienced, if you are facing over 200 balls, I think you should be able to score at least 70 runs. The pitch did not offer a lot of movement. England kept things very tight early on. But once that was gone, there should have been a better flow of runs. That did not happen.”
“Despite batting for so long, if India are unable to add another 35-40 runs… If someone occupies the crease for so much time and doesn’t score runs, that doesn’t make sense. Yes, India needed to be careful for a period of an hour or a little more. But despite being set, the runs didn’t come. Being in the Indian team for so long, Pujara is obviously a highly capable player. But that needs to translate into runs. He should have scored more than 45,” he added.