Cheteshwar Pujara scored 73 runs in the first innings of Chennai Test vs England.© Instagram
Former cricketers including Ricky Ponting had questioned Cheteshwar Pujara‘s slow approach during the Australia tour but India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane backed the batsman and said Pujara knows his role and game. Pujara registered his slowest fifty in Test cricket during the third Test against Australia and Ponting had said the batsman’s slow batting created an unwanted pressure on the non-striker who had to compensate for his slow approach.
Rahane on Friday backed Pujara’s playing style and said his role is very important and crucial for the Indian team.
“No one questioned his approach (slow) about his batting in the team and that’s what matters. What people talk outside doesn’t matter to us. We know Pujara’s role and how crucial he is for our team and we are really happy with the way he played in Australia and the way he is playing right now. His role very important for us and we back him completely on how he wants to play. He knows his game really well. He has played 80 odd Test matches. No one questioned his ability or how he played in Australia,” said Rahane while replying to a query from ANI during the virtual press conference.
India all-rounder Axar Patel has recovered completely and is now available for selection for the second Test.
“Everyone is in the mix, the good thing is Axar is fit to play. See all our spinners are really good and if given a chance I’m sure they will do really well,” said Rahane.
Since Axar is available for selection for the second Test the All-India Senior Selection Committee on Thursday withdrawn Shahbaaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar from the main squad and added the duo back to the group of standby players.
England defeated India by 227 runs in the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. England’s winning start against India in their ICC World Test Championship series has kept alive the visiting side’s hopes of making the final of the nine-team competition.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday lifted England to first place and 70.2 percentage points on the points table and they’ve improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favour that could see them through to the final – 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.
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