Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has been a vital cog for the Indian cricket team in the longer format for several years now. With his sound technical prowess and his ability to bat with composure under pressure, situations have made him an inseparable part of the line-up. However, the player's painfully slow scoring rate has often come under the radar, and he has often been criticized for the same. In spite of scoring a crucial half-century in the ongoing India vs Australia 3rd Test, the batsman was targeted by a certain section of fans for 'slow' innings.
After the Australian team posted an impressive total of 338 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, it was imperative for the Indian batsmen to come up with a spirited batting performance. The new opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill showcased a great amount of courage as they counterattacked the fierce Australian bowling attack with great flair and confidence. However, the manner in which Cheteshwar Pujara paced his innings, surprised a number of fans.
The Saurashtra batsman is known to blunt the opposition's bowling attack with his patience and has also earned the tag of the modern-day 'Wall" after Rahul Dravid's retirement. However, the 32-year-old's approach during India's first innings of the India vs Australia 3rd Test was questioned by a lot of fans on social media. Many were also of the opinion that Pujara's slow batting accounted for the stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari's dismissals. They also argued that while Dravid too possessed a low strike rate in Tests and played numerous amount of deliveries, he was India's 'consummate' stroke makers who looked to score runs even off very good deliveries.
I really apprecuate Pujara but watching him makes me miss the swashbuckling Dravid.— Vishnu Vasudev (@guruguha) January 9, 2021
There's a difference between defensive cricket and timid cricket. Dravid played defensive, he didn't score a lot of boundaries but always looked to rotate the strike. Pujara, doesn't score boundaries neither takes singles - that's timid cricket.— Rohit (@PhatateRohit) January 9, 2021
Pujara is nowhere close to being the WALL India needs.— Gaurav Agrawal (@crazyphoton) January 9, 2021
Cheteshwar Pujara reached his half-century in 174 balls. making it his slowest of his career. Notably, Pujara's previous slowest fifty came against South Africa at Johannesburg in 173 deliveries. His promising innings was ultimately cut short by Pat Cummins. Star fast bowler Pat Cummins was also the pick of the bowlers for Australia as he gave his side four crucial breakthroughs. . The player was the joint-highest scorer for the Indian side along with Shubman Gill, as the team was ultimately bundled out for 244.
Without Pujara, India would have been all out much earlier. You cannot change Pujara's rock solid approach, ask him to play like Sehwag. Ppl are saying to drop him from 11🙄— Sohom 💫🏏🎬 (@mastiyaapa) January 9, 2021
Thank God Twitter wasn't much active during Dravid's time, people would have abused him for playing slow.
Sir, who are the other examples like pujara to have had a great record in Australia, means same batting template. Dravid succeeded in the series where he batted at 55-60 sr, otherwise he also used to face many balls and then get out on a peach of delivery just like pujara— Mayank Mishra (@mayankmishra_22) January 9, 2021
Funny how people idolise Dravid but abusing Pujara for the same style of play. Bet they never watched Dravid playing and glorify him just to look cool.— Sarang (@sarangcasm) January 9, 2021
People appreciated Dravid just a few days ago to troll Pujara now😭— Cavani's Negrito (@trashkhande) January 9, 2021
Fans in India can tune into the Sony Pictures Sports Network (SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 3 and SONY SIX) at 5:00 AM (IST) on Sunday, January 10 for Day 4 for the live telecast of the India vs Australia 3rd Test. The India vs Australia live streaming will also be made available on the SonyLIV app. To follow the live scores of the game, one can keep tabs on the social media accounts of the BCCI and Cricket Australia.
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