Under the pump ahead of the five-match Test series against England, Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is in the news these days for not so happy reasons. Pujara’s place in the Indian playing XI is being questioned after an ordinary outing in the recently-concluded practice game against Essex. His performance has raised some serious concerns over his ability in English conditions as he managed only 24 runs in two innings.
However, Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket and a former Test batsman, has backed India’s No.3 batter and feels he will get through this tough phase very soon.
Moxon also feels that a struggling Cheteshwar Pujara has no significant technical issues which need serious concerns to ponder over ahead India vs England first Test underway next week.
“No, there’s nothing in particular from the technical point of view. His alignment and balance were fine this time. He worked extremely hard on his game. He was the model professional in that respect. He just didn’t get going. There were times when you thought, this is the day he’s going to go and make a big one. But then he found a way of getting himself out. He’s as frustrated as we were, but there wasn’t anything technical to be bothered about,” said the former England player as quoted by The Indian Express.
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The 58-year old veteran also reckoned that there were was nothing to really worry about regarding Pujara’s approach to batting in England.
“At the start of the year, he had a couple of poor lbw decisions and ran himself out as well. That didn’t help him with his rhythm getting into the season. There was so much rain in the early part of the season when he played. The pitches were very seamer-friendly, so it was not easy for anybody to bat long to be honest. There’s a bit of reasoning behind him not scoring the runs. The pitches were a little bit tricky,” he said.
The Rajkot-born batsman endured a lean run in County cricket for Yorkshire – he averaged 14.33 in six four-day matches. His poor Test average of 22.20 in England will also be a point of concern for India captain Virat Kohli. But, Moxon believes it’s just about getting the rhythm back with one big knock.
“He actually did really well for us in 50-over cricket. But at the start of the year, he had a couple of poor LBW decisions and ran himself out as well. That didn’t help him with his rhythm getting into the season. There was so much rain in the early part of the season when he played. The pitches were very seamer-friendly, so it was not easy for anybody to bat long to be honest. There’s a bit of reasoning behind him not scoring the runs,” the Yorkshire chief defended Pujara.
At last, he also showered a few words of praise on Pujara and said the Indian batsman is a popular figure in Yorkshire dressing room.
“He is a perfect gentleman. A hardworking professional cricketer and very popular in the dressing room. There’s a great fondness for Pujara in our dressing-room,” Moxon signed off.
The first Test of the five-match series between India and England starts on August 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham.