The form of Cheteshwar Pujara will be a concern for Team India, as they approach the five-match Test series against England, starting August 1st in Birmingham.

Cheteshwar Pujara bagged a couple of low scores in the only practice game against Essex. He has been vulnerable against quality swing and lateral movement of late. Even during India’s last tour of England in 2014, Pujara scored just 200 odd runs at a below-par average.

Pujara is a world-class Test batsman

He is a world-class Test batsman and will be an important cog in the Indian top order. Team India head coach Ravi Shastri feels given his experience and class; a big score is just around the corner. He thinks once Pujara gets a 60 70 odd, he will be a different cricketer.

“He’s an extremely experienced player. I feel he is one innings away [from a big score]. He needs to spend time at the crease. If he gets one 60-70 under his belt, he will be a different player altogether. My job is to make sure he is thinking in that fashion,” Shastri said.

Cheteshwar Pujara is someone who is known to play big innings. He can make a huge impact if he makes the English bowlers toothless. Once the right-hander plays out the initial few overs, we can expect a few big knocks from the solid batsman.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Essex, India
Cheteshwar Pujara struggled at the Chelmsford against Essex. Photo Credit: BCCI.

“We have seen once he gets in, he makes it count. He is one player who will really make it count and hold the innings together, so he becomes important,” he said.

The interviewer of ESPN Cricinfo claims that Pujara has said in an interview the team management has given him the security of his position. He is also well known for what role he plays in the team.

Cheteshwar Pujara is an anchor says, Ravi 

“Pujara is an anchor. He has been one of the pillars of this batting line-up for a long time. You know what he does – he loves batting (smiles). We just want him to do it. Unfortunately, in South Africa, he was run out a couple of times [in the same Test in Centurion]. That is something we don’t want. We don’t want him to be a Usain Bolt; we want to him to be Pujara. Stay there at the crease. The last thing you want to do is give your wicket away to a run-out,” Shastri said.

Shastri stated it is always not possible for all the players to deliver at the same time.

“You wish well for everyone, but having played and watched the game for so long, I know that you can’t have everyone perform [at the same time]. When you have seven to eight players performing game after game, you are on an absolute roll. I think patience is the key here. Just hope and be patient. As long as the work ethics are good, as long as you are thinking clearly, then you are always positive that the right outcome will come.

There has been a perception among cricketing fans that the team management is not happy with his run rate. However, Shastri feels it is not a concern for Cheteshwar Pujara at all.

“It is not a concern for me at all. He has a role to play. He knows his role because No. 3 is an important role,” Shastri said.

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri (Credits: AFP)

Role of KL Rahul 

The head coach further revealed KL Rahul got elected in the squad as the 3rd opener.

“He has been picked as the third opener. But our batting order will always be flexible. The third opener can play anywhere in the top four. We are a very, very flexible outfit. Be prepared for that. We will surprise you guys at times,” the head coach added.