Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar reckons a proven player like Cheteshwar Pujara, who has experience of over 80 Tests and has scored 6000 runs, shouldn’t be told what to do about his game as the batsman has struggled for big scores over the past couple of years.
Pujara hasn’t scored a century since January 2019 and was under fire over the last couple of series. However, he gained some sort of form and momentum in the Leeds Test against England with a valiant 91.
Ajit Agarkar believes Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who is also under pressure for his place in the side, should be backed; he also added both the batsmen have scored crucial runs in the past – not least in the Lord’s Test saving India from defeat.
“Criticism is part and parcel of a player’s career. When you do well, you get applause, when you don’t do well, you get criticism. He (Pujara) has played 80 plus Tests. I don’t think he needs advice from other people. He has scored almost 6000 runs. You have got to back them. He is a talented and experienced player,” Ajit Agarkar told Times Of India.
“There are certain players, who have served you well over the years, who know these conditions, who you should try to back as much as you can and then make a decision if somebody is not scoring runs. Ajinkya and Pujara might be under a little bit of pressure, there is no doubt about it, but their innings have helped India,” he added.
India would be hoping Rahane scores a lot of runs in the upcoming Tests: Ajit Agarkar
Rahane’s fifty at Lord’s astraddle low scores in this series. Speaking further about Rahane, Ajit Agarkar pointed out that the Mumbai batsman has time and again played significant knocks in difficult overseas conditions, and is likely to return to form soon.
“He (Ajinkya) is now searching for runs. I am sure his half-century (in the Lord’s Test) will do him a world of good. He has got a lot of experience. And you want experienced players, especially, when you go abroad on important tours like England or Australia. These are tough tours and you want experienced people in your batting (line up).
“He is under a bit of pressure but is a talented batsman. And that’s what experienced players give you when the chips are down and when you are struggling as a team. India would be hoping he scores a lot of runs in the upcoming Tests,” Agarkar asserted.
With the series level at 1-1, both teams will take the field on Thursday for the fourth Test at The Oval.