India captain Virat Kohli urged the critics of the Indian team to leave ace batsman Cheteshwar Pujara alone after the constant condemnation of his slow strike rate in the last 2-3 years or so. He further said that it is up to individuals to figure out the “drawbacks” in their game.
Pujara is India’s second-highest Test run-getter in the current team with 6267 runs in 82 Tests and was the hero of India’s maiden Test series win in Australia in 2018-19 scoring three centuries in four Tests including the best of 193 in Sydney.
However, that was his last Test century and since then, he has not reached the three-figures mark but has made the record for slowest Test half-century by an Indian during the 2020-21 Test series in Australia, which India won 2-1.
I Honestly Feel A Player Of His Calibre And Experience Should Be Left Alone: Virat Kohli On Cheteshwar Pujara
Asked about Pujara baiters, Kohli did come to his dependable No 3’s defense though with a rider. The captain said that players at this level are conscious of their duties and undue criticism doesn’t bother them, least of all Pujara.
“It’s been going on for a while and I honestly feel a player of his calibre and experience should be left alone and it should be absolutely with the individual to figure out what are the drawbacks in his game,” Kohli said on the eve of the first Test against England.
“Similarly with me or any other player in this team, we are very aware of the things we need to do for the benefit of the team. I can from outside say criticism is unnecessary but I know for a fact that Pujara doesn’t care and criticism is as relevant as you want it to be. People can say what they want to say on the outside and those are just words at the end of the day. If you feel they mean no value to you, you just carry on, walking on your path,” he added.
Furthermore, Virat Kohli said that the Indian team was much better prepared than their last tour in 2018 when India lost 1-4. He said that players who were inexperienced then, now have experience. And though there might be failures, he feels India has enough players to come good in pressure situations.