Ace Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara has opened up on the challenges of batting in the top order for India. Pujara was widely appreciated for his grit after he took several body blows but stood firm to take India over the line in the final Test against Australia in Brisbane.
While speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special podcast, Pujara said batting in the top order in overseas conditions comes with a lot of challenges and sometimes you have to be in line to face the bullets.
“There are times when you need to face the bullet. If you are batting at the top of the order for the Indian team, especially overseas, you need to have a lot of guts. You need to have lots of patience and temperament. There are some innings where I had to take the bullet and that’s why they call me the ‘rock’,” said Pujara.
He further revealed that it was not easy to judge the bounce in Brisbane, adding that he tried to keep the hands out of the way if even the ball hits his body. An injury marred India went on to claim an emphatic 2-1 series over Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Pujara was one of the few Indians who played all four Tests and scored a total of 271 runs, playing a pivotal role in the win.
“It was difficult to judge the bounce of the ball. And there were balls which were hitting my body. I just told myself that even if it hits my body, I will keep my hands down. I don’t want the ball to hit my gloves or bat. And that was mainly the game plan for any that was bowled short of back of a length,” explained Pujara.