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Gautam Gambhir rates Cheteshwar Pujara over Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan in Test Cricket 

673   //    09 Aug 2017, 13:58 IST

Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara has been the backbone of the Indian batting line-up in Tests in recent times

What’s the story?

Cheteshwar Pujara’s rich vein of form drew appreciations from every nook and corner of the world. This time Gautam Gambhir heaped praises on him. In a recent interview with DNA, the left-handed batsman from Delhi rated the Saurashtra batsman as a better player than Kohli and Dhawan at least in Test cricket.

“We don't give too much importance to Test cricket, and that is the reason. It is all about white-ball cricket and what people do in ODIs and T20s. But yes, when it comes to red-ball cricket, he is right at the top. Maybe far more consistent than Kohli or Dhawan,” quipped Gambhir.

The former world champion also talked about the importance of playing only one format in Pujara’s growth as a batsman.

“Look, one thing which is really important to note is that he's playing only one form of the game. He can actually keep his mind pretty stable while playing and preparing only for five-day cricket. Had he been playing One-Dayers and T20Is as well, it would've been much more difficult for him, because sometimes you have to change your mindset. When you're not scoring runs in One-Day cricket, you go into a Test series not with the same confidence. But when you're playing just one format, it is easier to be consistent than someone who is playing all three formats,” the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper added

In case you didn’t know…

Pujara has simply been outstanding in the recent Test series against Sri Lanka. With a couple of awe-inspiring innings of 153 and 133 at Galle and Colombo respectively, he is presently the top run-scorer of the series with 301 runs at an average of 100.33.

Also read: India's five best openers till date

The details

Gambhir, in his interview, also signified the prominence of playing county cricket in England. He feels that playing under trying conditions in England has helped Pujara grind and grill himself into a more compact player.

Pujara played for Nottinghamshire in the Specsavers County Championship earlier this year. He was roped in as a replacement of James Pattinson, who was called up by Australia for the Champions Trophy.

What’s next?

India will now be heading to Palekelle for the third and Final Test. Thereafter, India will play a 5-match One Day International series against the Lankans which will be followed by a one-off T20 game in Colombo.

Author’s take

Pujara has been one of the most consistent and hard-working batsmen Indian cricket has ever produced. He isn’t intimidating with his stroke-making, but make sure that he takes the sting out of the opposition bowling line up with his sound technique and resolute attitude towards batting.

The best part of Pujara is that he is aware of his limitations and works tirelessly around it, which has enabled him to fine-tune himself as a batsman. He doesn’t play the limited overs format, which has been kind of a blessing in disguise for the middle-order batsman. 

Also read: Six things that can happen in cricket with Neymar's transfer fee

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