• Friday, March 24, 2023


India haven’t lost art of leaving, says Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara

By: Eastern Eye Staff

TWO of his team mates, including skipper Virat Kohli, perished playing away from their body but Indian top order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara dismissed suggestions that the team have any technical issues with leaving balls outside off-stump.

Opener Murali Vijay hung out his bat to a wide Ben Stokes delivery to be dismissed caught behind on day of the third test on Sunday.

Later in the day, Kohli, who otherwise showed tremendous restraint when England attacked him with a strong off-side field, was sucked into edging the same bowler for a similar dismissal at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.

“Everyone has their own gameplan. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way we batted,” said Pujara, himself adept at the art of leaving, the decline of which coincided with the mushrooming Twenty20 leagues.

“Not particularly in this test match, but in the past also we have left balls well outside the off-stump,” said the number three batsman who contributed 51 in India’s 271-6 on the second day of the contest.

Pujara and Kohli added 75 runs for the third wicket with some old-fashioned grafting as England quicks, backed by leg-spinner Adil Rashid, put considerable pressure on them.

“We were not struggling. The lines they were bowling, I felt, was a little negative,” Pujara said.

“I still feel the way we batted, we showed character. We were leaving the balls outside the off-stump and built a partnership which was crucial for the team.”

Pujara was aghast at the way he threw his wicket away, pulling a Rashid half-tracker for a diving Chris Woakes to scoop a brilliant low catch in the deep.

“Obviously I was disappointed the way I got out,” said the 28-year-old who struck a century in each of the previous two tests against England.

“There was a ball I probably could have hit for four but I didn’t time it well.”


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