Cheteshwar Pujara had a great series in Australia, where he bagged quite a few records. In addition to records, he also collected quite a few high praises from the analysts and the cricket fanatics across the globe. The latest to join the bandwagon of admirers is the Australian head coach Justin Langer, who believes Pujara is greater than Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in one particular aspect.
Cheteshwar Pujara was in outstanding form in Australia. Last month, he had bailed India out of trouble with a sublime 123 at the Adelaide Oval. Before that, he scored another half-century in the second innings, which ensured India had enough on the board to secure a historic win. Later, he knocked a blistering 193 to end series on a great note.
Speaking for the first time since the visiting team’s maiden Test triumph on Australian soil, Langer said Pujara’s concentration was a challenge for his bowlers. Langer added that he has never seen a player like Cheteshwar Pujara, who watch the ball very closely.
I have never seen a batsman watching ball so closely – Justin Langer
In that aspect, he feels Pujara has surpassed the Indian legends Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Justin Langer went on to say that Pujara’s presence toiled Australian bowlers hard, which helped Indian bowlers rattle the defence of Australians with ease.
”I have never seen a batsman watch the ball as closely as he (Pujara) does, and that includes Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. His concentration was a challenge. And we have to keep getting better just like him, all our batsmen and bowlers. We have the best spinner and three outstanding pace bowlers, against the outstanding Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. So it takes some mental and physical energy out,” Langer said.
”The guys are working very hard and they are going okay. The first innings in Melbourne and Sydney, honestly, sucked the life out of us because when you are in the field for two days, with only one spin bowler, that takes energy out of the group,” he said ahead of ODI series starting Saturday in Sydney.
Well, as Justin Langer said, the patience of Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle is a real challenge for the opposition bowlers. If they fail to rattle his defence then eventually, it is going to be a tough day at the office for the opposition.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara will travel back home to play some first-class cricket followed by county stint. He hasn’t attracted any biddings in the Indian Premier League 2019 auctions.