Team India created history by winning the first ever Test series in Australia. While all the eyes were on the captain Virat Kohli, one man quietly kept doing what he does best. Cheteshwar Pujara was the scriptwriter for India’s first win down under in 71 years of its cricketing history.
It was a show of sheer determination as he batted for 1258 deliveries in the series. Pujara scored 521 runs and made 3 centuries. He ended up being the leading run-getter of the series by far. Batting wasn’t easy for both sides as either side consisted of world-class bowlers. But Pujara proved to be a class apart.
He batted, batted and batted. Very rarely did the Australian bowlers had an answer to his grit. The No.3 batsman kept piling on the runs and every time he scored big, India found itself in a strong position. Despite taking blows on the body, he refused to give up and proved to be flesh in the thorn for the hosts.
There was a question mark about his performances outside India earlier. But the right-hander answered his critics in style. It’s certain with his approach that he loves batting for long hours. Pujara himself mentioned after winning the series that batting is like meditation for him.
“I try and keep my mind blank. For me, batting is like meditation. If you have any thoughts in the middle then you can’t concentrate for long periods. Whenever I am at the non-striker’s end, I try to have a blank mind. Not to think about anything, just enjoy the moment and still be aware of what is happening around me,” said Pujara while speaking to Fox Cricket.
“Practice is the most important thing”: Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara wasn’t as effective on the previous overseas tours. As a result, he even found himself out of the team on the tour of England once. But the 30-year-old was prepared to grind it out in domestic cricket. His stint in County Cricket also helped his concentration massively. He also stressed the importance of practice.
“I have been able to score big runs in domestic cricket. When you score big runs, you develop that concentration, that habit of staying at the crease for longer periods. That habit has helped me,” added Pujara.
“For me, practice is the most important thing. My father has told me one thing – you cannot get out in the nets. If you create a habit of playing a loose shot in the net, it will automatically come in the match. For me, success is about practicing well and preparing well,” concluded Cheteshwar Pujara.
The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Kidderminster Cricket Club
Old Trafford, Manchester
Riverside Ground, Durham
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