Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell on Sunday said he feels India’s Cheteshwar Pujara does not get into a net-practice mode after he scored a slow 88-ball 24 against New Zealand in the ongoing second and final Test at Hagley Oval, Christchurch. Also Read - Cheteshwar Pujara Signs Short-Term Deal With Gloucestershire, to Play Six Games
“Mind you, Pujara needs to be careful he doesn’t slip into net-practice mode and forget that the object in a match is to score runs regularly,” wrote Chappell in his column in ESPNcricinfo. Also Read - 'Not All Focus on Virat Kohli; Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane Big Wickets,' Josh Hazlewood
He felt with regular Test opener Rohit Sharma, who is missing out the series due to an injury and Mayank Agarwal ahead of Pujara and India skipper Virat Kohli to follow, there is adequate strokeplay around him and he is ideal at the No 3 spot. Also Read - Winning ICC Test Championship Bigger Than ODI or T20 World Cup: Cheteshwar Pujara
“Pujara normally bats behind (Rohit) Sharma and Mayank Agarwal and ahead of Kohli. That’s an adequate amount of strokeplay surrounding Pujara, and as a judicious shot maker he’s ideal at No. 3 for balance,” added the 76-year old.
Lauding Pujara’s 54 off 140 balls in the first innings, he reckoned that it was the ideal knock from him as it had the ideal balance of caution mixed with aggression.
“The other thing that Pujara has to be aware of while batting in the midst of stroke-makers is that he must not keep them becalmed at the non-striker’s end for long periods. In Christchurch, he found the ideal balance of caution mixed with aggression,” he added further.
He also reckoned Indian batsmen need to strike a balance between caution and aggression, his views coming in the wake of their struggles in the Test series in New Zealand’s testing conditions.
Meanwhile, India is reeling at 90 for six in their second innings and lead by 97 runs with four wickets in hand at the end of day two.
Brief Scores: India 90/6 (Cheteshwar Pujara 24; Trent Boult 2/10) & India 242 (Hanuma Vihari 55, Prithvi Shaw 54; Kyle Jamieson 5/45) lead New Zealand 235 (Tom Latham 52, Kyle Jamieson 49; Mohammad Shami 4/81) by 97 runs