'He opted out of Vijay Hazare trophy to prepare for this series. You could see why': Karthik's big praise for India star
Dinesh Karthik spoke highly on the India star's commitment after the latter produced a brilliant performance in the 1st Test against Bangladesh.
Team India registered a comprehensive 188-run victory over Bangladesh to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series in Chattogram. Defending a mammoth 513-run target, India bowled the hosts out on 324 on the final day of the Test. Bangladesh put a fighting display in the second innings, as they batted out an entire fourth day to frustrate the Indian bowling attack, but KL Rahul's men eventually ended the hosts' resistance in the first session of the final day.
India had posted strong scores of 404 and 258/2 across the two innings and batter Cheteshwar Pujara shined in both, following a gritty 90 in the first with his 19th Test century. He was named the player of the match for his consistent outing in the first Test, and India's veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik believes that Pujara's decision to skip the domestic one-day tournament reaped rewards for the batter.
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“In Rajkot, there is lot more of red soil wicket, so it's very different to what he was going to get in Bangladesh. He has played on such wickets. He knows what it takes to do well on this wicket. I'll give credit to Pujara; he played T20s for Saurashtra, but then opted out of Vijay Hazare. He opted out of the one-day format. He opted to prepare for this, and you could see why he was doing it,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
“He might need to obviously get into the Test mindset. He knows this Test series has to be counted, that's what he did. He prepared for it. He practices a lot with his dad. His dad has created a facility where people can practice for free. Pujara tends to practice there to hone his skills. He has consciously made an effort for it for this series and you can see the results. You need to prepare really well and Pujara is a great example for that,” Karthik said.
Team India will return to action for the second Test of the series on December 22 in Dhaka.