Sourav Ganguly reckons Cheteshwar Pujara's form will be important when India start overseas tours
What’s the story?
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has heaped praise on Cheteshwar Pujara for the kind of form he is showing in Sri Lanka. Speaking to India Today, Ganguly reflected how Pujara had turned things around since the West Indies tour last year.
“(Pujara is a) terrific player. It's a remarkable turnaround since the West Indies tour. Doesn't get picked in ODIs, doesn't play the IPL but he comes and gets runs in Test cricket. His hunger is amazing and it's great to see him getting all these runs," stated Ganguly. "Wish him many more and hopefully he continues the run-scoring spree. India will start to go away and Pujara's form at No. 3 will be important."
Pujara, playing in his 50th Test, registered his 13th Test century in the ongoing 2nd Test match against Sri Lanka. The gritty right-handed batsman had scored a big century in the first Test and followed it up with another spectacular knock in the second one.
At the end of the first day’s play, Pujara was unbeaten on 128 off 225 balls. However, he was dismissed early on the second day after having added just five runs to his overnight score. He hit eleven boundaries and one six during his knock.
The heart of the matter
While Ganguly was full of praise for Pujara, he also talked about half-centurion KL Rahul and centurion Ajinkya Rahane. The former captain noted that Rahul was a very good player across all formats but he should be careful with his injuries.
Speaking about Rahane, he said that the century after such a long time will definitely boost Rahane’s confidence. After all, it was his first century since the 188 against New Zealand in October last year.
Ganguly further reckoned that the superb start has put Team India in the driving seat and they are surely going to win the match and seal the series.
After the ongoing Test, which is on its second day of play, the Indian team will play one more Test at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Balagolla. Following that, they will play a five-match ODI series and a one-off T20I before returning back home for the Australia series.
Pujara will have an important role to play when Team India go abroad, especially in England, South Africa, Australia. The pitches there are not so batting-friendly and only a top-class batsman, who has the required tenacity and technique, will succeed. That is where Pujara will come in.