Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, on Wednesday, heaped praise ‘Run Machine’ Cheteshwar Pujara for his stellar show in India’s historic maiden Test series win in Australia. Tendulkar was also impressed with the style of play dished out by the Indian team, saying the brand of cricket produced by Virat Kohli and his men in the four-Test series was “magnificent”.
India registered its first-ever Test series triumph in Australia since the country’s first visit way back in 1947-48, winning matches at Adelaide and Melbourne while losing at Perth before the rain-marred last Test at Sydney was drawn.
“Fantastic. The team has done really well. The brand of cricket that India has been able to produce Down Under has been magnificent,” said Tendulkar at an event in Mumbai.
Pujara scored 521 runs in the series with three centuries and one half-century with 193 as his highest score and Tendulkar pin-pointed that Pujara was outstanding in the series.
“I find it difficult to pinpoint one moment, but I think Pujara has been really outstanding. The number of statements made on Pujara, which ideally weren’t in his favour, kind of undermined his contribution. Along with Pujara, we cannot ignore the bowlers’ contribution. The bowlers have also done exceedingly well.
“But somewhere Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation (standing) on which there were a number of guys who went out and got runs. Kohli scored runs in the second Test. Ajinkya Rahane had that crucial partnership in the series. Then Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja – all these guys have done well. Mayank Agarwal got off to a good start.
“But (still) if I have to pinpoint one guy then Pujara stands out along with the fast bowlers,” said Tendulkar.
He also hoped that the Test series victory in Australia, the first ever in 71 years, would inspire the younger generation.
“I think results like these are really important. I still remember that when I was 10 years old, I didn’t know much about cricket. But I knew that India had won the World Cup in 1983 and that’s where my journey started.
“Hopefully, there are many journeys which have started already. You need these kinds of results to inspire them and make them believe that you can go out and deliver your best and get laurels to our nation. That is exactly what the team has done Down Under,” he emphasised.
Then he said, Indian bowling attack has proved that it is capable of delivering in all conditions.
“I can comfortably say that we are a competitive attack in any part of the world or on any surface. We are ready to go and play anywhere in the world and be extremely competitive,” the legendary batsman said.
“If I have to name, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav also played one Test match in Australia, all these guys, have chipped in at various points,” he added
“Spinners have also chipped in, it’s not just the fast-bowlers, but the spinners. But what you also want — your fast bowlers to bowl those hostile spells in patches and that has happened more frequently, it was not just about the new ball game, it was also to do with the old ball and how consistently one can bowl in 140 plus and that is something, which is pleasing to the eye.”
Tendulkar said the rise of Indian bowlers did not happen overnight.
“More awareness about the diet, the training methods, better fitness, accessibility to any information that you want, these factors contribute and not to forget the infrastructure, the infrastructure for cricket is good and of course one should be happy, but never be satisfied. I hope we continue getting better and better.
“But all these things don’t happen overnight. It’s a process and it has taken some-time. But I feel, we have got quality fast bowlers, at the same time, it is not just to do with your diet and accessibility to various information, but also the guys are talented, they are really (talented),” he concluded.
(With PTI Inputs)