India vs New Zealand 2016: Ian Chappell praises Cheteshwar Pujara
Chappell said, "It was a distinct pleasure to watch India bat in the first Test against New Zealand. It was good to see spin bowling played so well. I especially enjoyed the play of Cheteshwar Pujara. I love the way he quickly gets back to either play a forcing shot through the covers or a pull to the mid-wicket boundary.”
Pujara scored half-centuries in both innings at Kanpur amidst discussions on his strike rate, as India went on to win the match by 197 runs.
Chappell felt many batsmen tend to close off while playing the pull against the spinners while Pujara had a more open stance while playing the shot, enabling him to create a wider arc while pulling. The 73-year-old Australian felt that Pujara and Vijay, along with Virat Kohli, are the best players of spin in the Indian batting line-up.
Chappell said that decisive footwork allows a batsman to determine the field placings. He felt that both Pujara and Vijay was impeccable in this regard, employing the late cut and shots square of the wicket to perfection.
Also Read: Venue profile: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The 28-year old Pujara is one of the best players of spin bowling in world cricket as his record in the sub continent speaks for itself. He has been in phenomenal form in the ongoing New Zealand series, managing to score three fifties in the first two Tests, including two consecutive ones in Kanpur.
Pujara has scored 1857 runs in the sub-continent so far in his career at an impressive average of 66.32 in 20 Tests.
The Australian said that most batsmen have lazy footwork against the spinners, looking to move outside the stumps area to thwart the spinner. This he said, makes the spinner more threatening as it opens up the batsmen. However, he felt Indians have been different in this respect.
"For some time India has been the leading light in producing batsmen who are devoid of gimmicks and rely on tried and tested methods to score at every opportunity. Whatever development methods India are employing for their young batsmen, the rest of the cricket world should start taking notice."