Cheteshwar Pujara Gave A Brilliant Reply To His Critics Who Questioned His Form

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The batting pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have released a lot of pressure off themselves with entertaining fifties in India’s second innings in the Johannesburg Test.

Both the senior batters came in the second Test under the pressure of their places in the eleven. They stepped up when the team required them to, in the absence of Virat Kohli.

India were 44/2, with a lead of just 17 runs, when the pair was summoned to bail them out of trouble. Cheteshwar Pujara batted in an uncharacteristic fashion, taking the attack to the South African bowlers. Rahane, too, after looking fidgety at the start, unfurled his range of shots. Their partnership of 111 runs came at a run rate of 4.75, before both of them were dismissed for fifties by Kagiso Rabada.

India’s number 3 said that despite their struggles of last year and lack of a big score, both of them had the full backing of the management and the captain.

“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,” Pujara said at the end of day three.

Pujara reflected that while their form had been below par, both the batters were giving their best in training and preparations, focusing on the processes and eventually the hard work paid off as they helped India to a challenging total.

“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.

“This is what has happened today, and I’m sure that this form will continue and we will get big scores in the next game as well,” Pujara added.

India set the hosts a target of 240. South Africa ended Day 3 at 118/2, needing 122 more runs while India aim to nip out the remaining 8 wickets to take an unassailable lead in the series.

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