Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has backed Cheteshwar Pujara despite his poor performance against New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The Indian team had to face defeat by eight wickets at the hands of the Kiwi team in the match played in Southampton.
Pujara had scored 8 and 15 runs respectively in both the innings of this match. Not only did Pujara fail to score runs, the 33-year-old’s strike rate was also very low. His strike rate was less than 19.
Gavaskar said, we should remember how New Zealand batted. The conditions were very difficult to bat in. It was helpful for the bowlers. We should see how David Conway and Kane Williamson batted.
Pujara is an important part of the Indian team but his performance in the World Test Championship has not been very good recently. In the Test Championship, his batting average is just above 30 and strike rate is also close to 32. In the last two years, Pujara has not even scored a century in Test cricket.
Gavaskar said in an exclusive conversation with India Today, ‘Ross Taylor also started slow, we should remember this. He also batted like Pujara. He also had a slow start. But if you want to point fingers at Pujara, we can’t say anything.
Pujara is the player who holds one end firmly. This gives the players at the other end the freedom to play their strokes. They are assured that Pujara is standing holding one end.
Indian captain Virat Kohli had hinted at a change in the playing XI during the Test series against England. In such a situation, it will be interesting to see whether the blame falls on Pujara or the team management will once again trust him.