Cheteshwar Pujara and Sunil Gavaskar. Photo- Twitter
Cheteshwar Pujara and Sunil Gavaskar. Photo- Twitter

India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar lavished rich praises on veteran Cheteshwar Pujara and said that he is a blessing to have in the Indian team. Furthermore, he also compared him to South African batting legend Hashim Amla.

India, who were plagued with their batting order issues, drew some respite, however, with their senior batters Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane stepping up in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test.  Both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane scored brisk half-centuries at the Wanderers, which helped India set a competitive target for the Proteas.

They made a 111-run partnership on a dodgy pitch, which helped India set a 240-run target for South Africa, which the hosts achieved losing only 3 wickets as captain Dean Elgar slammed 96* and earned a 7-wicket win for his team, drawing level in the series 1-1.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. Credits: Twitter

“When I look at him, he reminds me of Hashim. Watching Hashim bat, you know there’s a sense of calm that everything is under control. The ball could be doing things but there was that sense because even on pitches where the ball was turning, the way Hashim was batting in India, it was almost as if, ‘look, nothing’s happening’, and that’s the same thing with Cheteshwar Pujara,” said Gavaskar on SuperSport.

India had won the first Test in Centurion by 130 runs, registering their maiden win at the venue. But in the second Test, South Africa registered their maiden Test win over India in Johannesburg since 1992.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s Temperament In The Changing Room Must Be Absolutely Terrific: Sunil Gavaskar

Cheteshwar Pujara has not scored a Test century since 2019 when he made 193 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Though he has played some amazing resilient knocks, especially in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia, where he took blows on the body to keep one end occupied.

His knocks in Australia enabled the likes of Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari, and Ravichandran Ashwin to draw the Sydney Test match and give them the confidence to chase down 329 runs in Brisbane to give India their second consecutive Test series win down under.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. Credits: BCCI

Gavaskar further insisted that players with Pujara’s temperament is “absolutely terrific” for the dressing room.

“It is a great, great blessing to have players of this temperament in your dressing room. (It may not be) necessarily just on the field but it’s a huge plus and I think having somebody with Cheteshwar Puajra’s temperament in the changing room must be absolutely terrific because in international cricket, there are several moments of tension where people would want to do this or that or the other. When you have somebody who’s going to think about it calmly and give you a measured opinion it makes a big difference,” said Gavaskar.

Both Pujara and Rahane have been backed by the Indian team management who feel its only a matter of time they both score centuries and the best time for them to do it will be in Cape Town, when India and South Africa clash in the third and final Test from January 11 with the series on the line.

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