Indian Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have found themselves at the receiving end of criticism. Though both of them played crucial knocks and helped India turn around a position of disadvantage into a remarkable Test win at Lord’s, yet there is a lot of chatter regarding their place in the playing XI.
The Indian cricket team is leading the ongoing 5-match Test series with 1-0, having won the second Test match. They will now be locking their horns with England in the 3rd-Test match at Leeds. However, before heading into the series, a lot of questions have been raised around Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s form.
On Monday, India’s Test vice–captain Ajinkya Rahane finally talked about the constant scrutiny around his form in the longest format of the game and he believes that only important people are criticized. He said:
“I am happy people are talking about me,” he added: “I have always felt people talk about important people so I am not concerned about that. It’s all about the contributions for the team. Cheteshwar and I have been playing for a long time, we know how to handle pressure, we know how to handle certain situations, so we are not concerned about them. We are just focusing on the team, we just want to contribute for the team, and that’s what we are doing. Whatever we can’t control, we are not thinking about that.”
In the second innings of the second Test match, Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara shared a crucial 100 run stand and helped India post a respectable score on the board. Talking about his performance in the game, Rahane said:
“My innings was really satisfying in the second Test, I always believe in contributions and for me, I always think about the team. That knock of 61 in the Lord’s Test was really satisfying. It was all about hanging in there, communication was all about thinking about small targets and building on from there. We always talk about Pujara playing slow, but his innings was really important, he batted for 200 balls. We backed each other, I thought communication was really good. We knew 170-180 could have been a very good score on that wicket,”
“Everything motivates me, playing for country motivates me a lot. I am not bothered about criticism. People only criticise important people, I am happy they are criticising me, I only focus on controllables. Team performance is the ultimate goal, you think about your plans and methods, but ultimately it is all for the team. We just focus on that,”
Fully focused on the goal. pic.twitter.com/Mntdo7Moza
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) July 29, 2021
Talking about the upcoming third test match against England, Rahane said:
“2014 and 2018 is past now, we are not thinking about that. We are not taking it lightly, whatever happened in the last game was special but we have moved on and we are focused on the next Test. We are taking it one match at a time, win or lose, it is important to stay in the present. We are confident about our unit, we have been playing some good cricket and it is about staying in the moment and focusing on the next match.”
“We are not thinking too much about the conditions and whatever Headingley has to offer. We just want to give our best, all players are in a good headspace and it is about putting our best foot forward,”