Legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar has come in support of Cheteshwar Pujara for his ability to hold the fort but said the Indian team management can explore “someone else” if the management feels Pujara’s methods aren’t working. Known for his rock-solid defense and playing textbook batting approach, Pujara received a lot of flak for eating out deliveries.
As per the quotes in NDTV, Sunil Gavaskar said, “Pujara has got to the international level playing in a certain way, he has got to trust that method. In case, the team doesn’t trust that method, then they have to maybe look at bringing somebody else in. I think he’s got to believe in himself and carry on playing as he knows best because he has done a fantastic job for India over the years.”
During the course of the two-year World Test Championship (WTC) cycle, Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t score a single century and amassed runs at an average of less than 30. He’ll be next seen in action during India’s five-match Test series against England, which is scheduled to be commencing in Nottingham from Wednesday. Sunil Gavaskar backed K L Rahul to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal ruled out of the first game.
Sunil Gavaskar said, “I think with KL Rahul scoring a hundred in the three-day game, he should be the person that they should consider to open the batting. He is the person I would look at opening the batting, not having Pujara going up the order. Also, don’t forget, in the last Test match that Rahul played in England (in 2018), he got a hundred at The Oval.”
Talking about the team combination, Sunil Gavaskar added, “If you are going to go in with five batsmen and a wicket-keeper, then I think you would look at somebody like a Rishabh Pant. Also, it depends on where you play, but otherwise, if you are looking at playing in England, where the wicketkeeper has to stand back and collect the deliveries against most of the pacers, then I would still go in for somebody like Rishabh Pant.”
The ‘little master’ also predicted an India win go on to win the series either 4-0 or 3-1, depending on the weather, adding that the visitors would emerge victorious anyway as England is depleted and their batting brittle.
One of the big battles would be between seasoned fast bowler, James Anderson, and the Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, and Sunil Gavaskar has backed the India captain to come out triumphant.
Sunil Gavaskar explained, “Looking at the way Kohli adopted in 2018, looking at the way he was so certain around off-stump, his shot selection was so immaculate…I just think Anderson as a fast bowler getting three-year older and Virat Kohli getting three years more experienced, and I t hink batsmen are at their peak around this 28-33-34, I do believe that Virat Kohli will come out triumphs as he did in 2018.”
The likes of Kohli and Pujara haven’t scored a Test century for a while but Gavaskar felt that would not be affecting the minds of the stalwarts.
Sunil Gavaskar elaborated, “I think it is a great incentive for both of them, both of them are run hungry batsmen, both of them want to get big hundreds. But I don’t think it is going to play on their minds. It doesn’t play on your mind, no batsman thinks that far ahead, a good/great batsman only thinks about the next ball, they don’t even think of the previous ball, and both these batsmen without doubt are very great players.”
The first Test match will be going live on Sony Six, Sony Ten 3, and Sony Ten 4 from August 4, from 3.30 PM IST. The match can also be seen on live streaming on the Sony Liv app.