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Cheteshwar Pujara explains why he batted slowly in Australia

January 28, 2021

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Cheteshwar Pujara scored his 28th Test fifty in the fourth match which was his slowest in the most extended format. He scored his half-century in 196 deliveries. The middle-order batsman was criticised over his slow innings, but it was one of the most important innings for Team India. Pujara’s strike rate was 41.41 when India last visited Australia in 2018-19. Now it has dropped down to 29.20 in the 2020 Border Gavaskar series. Although the batsman scored three half-centuries, all of them came in over 160 balls.

Pujara explained why it took him more time than usual to get things going against the Kangaroos. His slow strike rate came under intense review during the first two Test matches. Several cricket experts blamed the 33-year-old for being too slow. His slow innings could have put pressure on the other batsmen down the order.

Cheteshwar Pujara stated that his failure to kick on and score big after getting a good start was one of the reasons behind his low strike rate. However, there is another side to this, as many also believe that Pujara’s strike rate is not an issue at all. The number three batsman does an essential job for his team by holding fort at one end. Test matches now a day’s struggle to reach the fifth day as batsmen must accumulate the runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara gearing up for the upcoming England series

Despite his low strike rate, Pujara did what was best for the team. He has the potential to occupy the crease for extended intervals. This lets other players score freely around him. Irrespective of all the criticism, the 33-year-old finished as the second-highest run-scorer for India. He scored 271 runs in the four-match Test series against Australia.

The right-handed batsman will be in action once again as India faces England in a 4-match Test series. Pujara has an outstanding record against the English side at home. The batsman averages 64.53 in nine home Tests against England. The first match is scheduled to start February 5 in Chennai.

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