'Couldn't have done anything better': Pujara responds to critics, defends his style of batting

India vs Australia: Speaking to reporters after the third day's play, Cheteshwar Pujara reacted to critics and said that he can only play the way he knows.
India's Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot on the third day of the Third Test Match at Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy
India's Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot on the third day of the Third Test Match at Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy
Published on Jan 10, 2021 06:40 AM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com

Cricket is a fickle game and things can change in an instant for any player or a team. In the 2018/19 season, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara left the Australian bowlers frustrated as he went to bat for long in the middle, scoring three centuries in the process and helping India to big totals. Pujara was hailed as the hero of the series, and his tenacity, temperament, and patience in the middle were deemed as his best virtues.

Fast forward to 2020-21, and Pujara is facing criticism for his batting style in another Test against Australia. The right-handed slowest-ever half-century in the 3rd Test at SCG, but after he was dismissed for 50 and India were bowled out for 244 in the first innings, the Twitterati was quick to slam the batsman for his slow batting.

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Australia finished Day 3 at 103/2 taking a solid lead of 197 runs, and the match appears to be tilted in the favour of the hosts at the moment.

Speaking to reporters after the day's play, Pujara reacted to critics and said that he can only play the way he knows.

"I was batting well and got a good ball. I just have to accept it. I couldn't have done anything better than what I was doing. I feel I just have to bat the way, I know," Pujara said.

He also praised Aussie speedster Pat Cummins who took his wickets and also applauded Australia's bowling performance.

"He bowls unplayable deliveries. I felt that was the best ball of this series. I don't think I could have done anything about that ball which kicked from the back of length, I had to play that ball as there was extra bounce. When it's not your day, the margin of error is very little," he said.

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Pujara did not blame the finger injury he sustained during practice as the reason for him not being able to extend his stay in the middle.

"Not really, I think. I don't think it put any trouble as far as my batting is concerned. It's not easy and I am not hundred percent (fit). I won't say I am completely normal. This was something that was expected and I can manage this little bit of pain. It's an important game so I can't miss out," Pujara said.

"They bowled good line and lengths. They had a fair idea of this pitch. I think we should give credit to the way they bowled. They didn't give too many loose balls," he signed off.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022