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Explained: The technical adjustment made by Cheteshwar Pujara to succeed in Australia

Sachin Arora
ANALYST
Feature
636   //    10 Jan 2019, 19:40 IST

The ever-so-solid Cheteswar Pujara
The ever-so-solid Cheteswar Pujara

Post the Australian Test series, Cheteshwar Pujara has been the cynosure of all eyes, but, before the series began he was considered to be yet another Indian batsman who is good in Asian conditions but deficient outside Asia.

Though Pujara made a sparkling hundred in England earlier in 2018, it was considered to be a flash in the pan and rightly so, as he hardly did anything of note apart from that hundred in either England or South Africa.

Almost every Indian fan was hoping for great things from Virat Kohli during the Australian series and rest of the Indian batting was supposed to play the supporting cast role to Kohli. India's recipe for success was supposed to be the able support from Rahane and Pujara to Kohli, but Rahul Dravid's successor had other ideas.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man - Pujara lived this saying in Australia as he was the chief architect of India's first Test series win in Australia. The orthodox batsman toured Australia in 2014 as well and it won't be an exaggeration to say that it was a disastrous tour for him.

He looked clueless during that tour and it was quite evident that he didn't have the required technique to succeed in Australia. Pujara's success in 2018 came as a surprise to many, but, it was the result of his hard work which included modification to his usual technique.

Normally Pujara keeps his wrists low while defending and the same thing caused him a lot of problems during the 2014 tour as the extra bounce of Australian pitches was making it hard for him to keep the ball down due to low wrists. Also, he was not able to get on top of the bounce which is imperative for run scoring on Australian pitches. Having said that, during this tour, Pujara stood a bit upright and played with high wrists to counter the extra bounce from the Australian pitches; which eventually worked wonders for him.

Also to add, the way he used the crease this time against the fast bowlers was a lot different, as he was a lot further back that usual, in order to get on top of the bounce.

Cheteshwar Pujara ended up scoring a mammoth 521 runs which included 3 gritty centuries from the four Tests of the series with an outstanding average of 74.43. It's all about the application sometimes, and Pujara illustrated it with conviction.

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Sachin Arora
ANALYST
a chartered accountant, a theatre actor and a former club cricketer who still believes that test cricket is the only form of cricket which will survive the test of time. A keen follower of other sports and Indian athletes. A movie buff and a short story writer.
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