Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar has once again backed the Indian No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara to once again spearhead the batting-unit and emulate his performances of 2018-19 in the latest edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Pujara was the wrecker-in-chief for India during their triumphant tour of Australia two years ago. Not only did he racked up 521 runs across four matches with the help of three hundred, but he also faced more than 1200 deliveries, grinding the Australian attack to the dust.
India will once again need their No.3 to step-up, given the fact that they will be without Virat Kohli after the Adelaide Test. And, Gavaskar has no doubt that despite not having played a Test match for nine months, Cheteshwar Pujara will find his groove in the upcoming rubber.
“Out of 20 days of Test cricket that we have ahead of us, we are really happy to have him bat for 15 days, there is no question about it,” Gavaskar said on the Star Sports Show ‘Game Plan’
“Whether he has played any cricket or not, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference because he is so strong mentally, that he will be… he loves batting, he loves being at the crease, he loves wearing the bowlers down. In the last two years, he has also improved his strokes and range of shots.” he added.
Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden also singled out Cheteshwar Pujara as a major threat for Australia.
Hayden added that Pujara’s old-school batting approach in an era that is dominated by stroke-players could once again hurt the home side, as it did two seasons ago.
“As you know Australians love to drink coffee, and we have decided to go on a little campaign to make sure we have plenty of caffeine when it comes to watching Pujara bat,” Hayden said on the show.
“But, you know what the reality is, he hurt us badly. We are of a generation now where we are admiring people for their stroke play, we are admiring people for their strike rate. Well, he is one of the few guys in Test cricket that have a strike rate of sub 45 and he can hurt you.” he added.