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Cheteshwar Pujara’s Diligent Practice Amidst Test Dilemma In Rajkot
By CricShots - Feb 15, 2024 5:08 pm
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In the era of ‘Bazball,’ where the cricketing landscape is constantly evolving with a focus on aggressive play, Cheteshwar Pujara remains a steadfast figure, rooted in patience and persistence both on and off the field. As his compatriots took to the crease in the newly-announced Niranjan Shah Stadium for the 3rd Test against England in Rajkot, Pujara found himself on the training ground, diligently preparing with his Ranji side, staying true to his principles.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara

Debates have intensified surrounding Pujara’s absence from the Test side since June of the previous year when he last donned the whites for India in the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia. Post that contest, the focus shifted towards nurturing young, emerging talents, leading to Pujara being sidelined.

With Virat Kohli absent and the Indian middle-order facing challenges in the ongoing Test series against England, calls for Pujara’s return have gained momentum among fans and critics alike. The burden of anchoring the Indian innings and salvaging it has often fallen on the shoulders of young batters like Yashasvi Jaiswal.

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However, with Kohli’s series-long absence, there is a growing acknowledgement of the need for someone of Pujara’s experience to strengthen the batting order. Despite a remarkable year in white-ball cricket for India in 2023, Shubman Gill struggled to replicate that form in Test cricket, enduring a lean run with scores below 50 in over 10 innings before his century in the previous Test.

 

His dismissal for a duck in the third Test raises questions once again. Meanwhile, Pujara remains on the sidelines, watching India place its trust in a new generation of players. Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar, and Dhruv Jurel have all received call-ups to the senior side.

Undeterred by this, the Saurashtra stalwart retains his passion for the game and the desire to represent his country. In a recent interview with The Indian Express, Pujara expressed his proudest moments representing the Indian team, emphasizing the immense pride he feels when walking out to bat for his country.

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Despite the wait for a national call-up, Cheteshwar Pujara remains resolute, ready to play with the same passion and pride that have defined his cricketing journey. As he aptly puts it, “Whenever the opportunity to play for India comes, I will be ready to play with that passion and pride that’s needed and with which I have always played. That will never change.”