'Form is temporary, class is permanent. It applies here': Pujara says criticism over his, Rahane's form is outside noise

  • Pujara's remarks came after he scored 53 in the second innings of the ongoing Johannesburg Test against South Africa.
India's Ajinkya Rahane celebrates his half century with Cheteshwar Pujara.(REUTERS)
India's Ajinkya Rahane celebrates his half century with Cheteshwar Pujara.(REUTERS)
Published on Jan 06, 2022 11:46 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara scored an important half-century on Day 3 of the second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg -- both in context of the game and his form. Pujara had been going through a rough patch but on Thursday, he forged a 111-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane -- another senior batter who has been under the scanner due to prolonged struggles. Rahane also scored a half-century as India put 266 runs on the board, giving the Proteas a target of 240 to win.

Speaking in the press conference after Day 3, Pujara said that he, along with Rahane is working hard on his game and that both have the “backing” from the team management.

"We are very confident, also there is lot of backing from the team management, and we've been learning from Sunny bhai. Whenever I've spoken to him he has always been supportive. So yes, there are times when, if you're going through bad form, there will be questions, no doubt about that, but we are confident players, myself and Ajinkya, we know we are working hard on our game, and there's a saying, form is temporary, class is permanent, so I feel that it applies here," said Pujara.

"I feel that if we keep working on our game, we have done well for the Indian team in the past, and the management has shown a lot of faith in us, and that will pay off for sure. It has already paid, but I feel that as we keep playing more, as a batsman once you're back in form, you keep scoring runs and it keeps going up and up," he added.

While Pujara scored a brisk 53 off 86 deliveries, Rahane took 78 balls for his 58.

"I think the partnership with Ajinkya was very crucial because we were at a stage where we wanted some runs on the board, and I feel it's not just about my score but about the team's total in the end. So that partnership with Ajinkya was a very crucial one for us," said Pujara.

"Well, the team management has been always supportive, so I would say it's just the outside noise. The coaching staff, the captain, everyone is behind all the players, and we have been working hard. There are times when you don't get too many runs, but the important thing as a cricketer is following the right routine, having good work ethics, and keep working on your game, because there are times when you will not get runs, but if you follow the right processes, you get runs on the board," he added.

South Africa folded India for 266 in the second innings and then got to a decent start as their score read 118/2 at the Stumps on Wednesday and the hosts are just 122 runs away from levelling the three-match series. 

(With agency input)

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Sunday, January 16, 2022