Johannesburg [South Africa]: India top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara has thanked the team management for constantly backing him along with Ajinkya Rahane when the runs were not coming consistently.
Pujara’s remarks came after he scored 53 in the second innings of the ongoing Johannesburg Test against South Africa. Before this innings, Pujara and Rahane were under fire from all corners for the lack of runs. After their dismissal in the first innings, Sunil Gavaskar had stated that the duo might just have one innings more to save their Test careers.
“We are very confident, also there is lot of backing from the team management, and we’ve been learning from Sunny bhai. Whenever I’ve spoken to him he has always been supportive. So yes, there are times when, if you’re going through bad form, there will be questions, no doubt about that, but we are confident players, myself and Ajinkya, we know we are working hard on our game, and there’s a saying, form is temporary, class is permanent, so I feel that it applies here,” said Pujara during a virtual press conference.
“I feel that if we keep working on our game, we have done well for the Indian team in the past, and the management has shown a lot of faith in us, and that will pay off for sure. It has already paid, but I feel that as we keep playing more, as a batsman once you’re back in form, you keep scoring runs and it keeps going up and up,” he added.
Pujara along with Ajinkya Rahane stitched a 111-run stand for the third wicket and helped India extend their lead on Wednesday. Both batters were going through a lean patch but ended up hitting crucial fifties on Day Three of the second Test.
“I think the partnership with Ajinkya was very crucial because we were at a stage where we wanted some runs on the board, and I feel it’s not just about my score but about the team’s total in the end. So that partnership with Ajinkya was a very crucial one for us,” said Pujara.
“Well, the team management has been always supportive, so I would say it’s just the outside noise. The coaching staff, the captain, everyone is behind all the players, and we have been working hard. There are times when you don’t get too many runs, but the important thing as a cricketer is following the right routine, having good work ethics, and keep working on your game, because there are times when you will not get runs, but if you follow the right processes, you get runs on the board,” he added.
South Africa folded India for 266 in the second innings and then got to a decent start as their score read 118/2 at the Stumps on Wednesday and the hosts are just 122 runs away from levelling the three-match series. (ANI)