Former India batting great Sachin Tendulkar comes out speaking against the detractors who have criticized Cheteshwar Pujara for his comparatively lower strike rate at times.
India’s Test number 3 was under a serious pump from some former cricketers, and invariably from the fans on social media, recently on the tour of Australia, where, in Sydney and Brisbane in particular, he batted slower than people expected.
Eventually, India scrapped away with a draw in Sydney, and with a historic win in Brisbane, where Tendulkar reckons Pujara played his part of blunting out the ball. He says that Pujara has a different role while batting in Test cricket, and is a crucial cog in India’s line-up.
“I think we should appreciate what Cheteshwar Pujara has been able to achieve for India. It’s not always going about and maintaining a strike-rate and in Test cricket, you need different kind of planning and different kind of players to fit into your team,” Tendulkar told PTI.
“It’s like five fingers in your hands. Each finger has a different role and Pujara is an integral part of our team. I really like what Pujara has done for India. Rather than scrutinising his each innings, we should be appreciative of what he has done for India.”
Guys digging deep into his technique and rotation haven’t played as much top-level cricket as Pujara: Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar, who represented India in a record 200 Tests, further slammed the critics who attack Pujara for his strike rate. The 48-year-old says that those people would have played nowhere near matches as Pujara had done, and still deride the batsman.
He asserts that the Indian team has batters like Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja to play the counter-attacking game, so the team doesn’t really need Pujara to go for the big shots, and instead, he can bat time out while exhausting the opposition bowlers.
“Guys who are digging deep into his technique and rotation, I don’t think those guys have played as much top level cricket as Pujara. They possibly don’t understand. In today’s age of T20, probably if someone can hit the ball, he is regarded as a good player,” Sachin Tendulkar said.
“(It is) not necessary that person has to be a good Test player. In Test cricket, you need much more than just hitting the ball and trying to play big shots.
“For strike-rate, we have players like Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja. They can always increase the strike rate. But when it comes to tiring the opposition and where you require planning and vision to execute whatever your strategies are, for that you need a Cheteshwar,” the legendary batsman elucidated.
Cheteshwar Pujara and the rest of the team will soon be seen on Friday, June 18, as they take on New Zealand in the historic ICC World Test Championship final in Southampton.