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Pujara's Mind Messed up by Being Told About Scoring Rate, Says Gavaskar

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 19, 2018, 1:41 PM IST
Pujara's Mind Messed up by Being Told About Scoring Rate, Says Gavaskar

IMAGE: Reuters

Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at the Indian team management for messing up Cheteshwar Pujara's mind about his scoring rate.

Pujara was dismissed off the final ball before lunch on Day 1 of the third Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham playing an uncharacteristic hook shot against Chris Woakes for 14.

In his column for Times of India, Gavaskar wrote that Pujara's strength has been occupying the crease, but being told to change his approach has turned out be counter-productive.

"Pujara, whose mind has been messed up by being told about his scoring rate, went for a hook on the stroke of lunch and was caught at deep square leg. That's not his natural shot and just showed that when you try and tell a batsman to change his approach after he has got more than 4000 runs, it can be counter-productive," wrote the former Indian captain.

"Pujara's strength is occupying the crease, so that batsmen at the other end can play their shots around him."

Having been battered in the opening two Tests, India had a much better start to their third Test. After being asked to bat, the openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul combined for a 60-run opening wicket stand, and after a slight hiccup, Ajinkya Rahane (81) and Virat Kohli (97) ensured the visitors did not lose the momentum.

The duo added a splendid 159-run stand for the fifth wicket to push England on the backfoot for the first time this series. India ended the day on a strong 307 for 6 with debutant Rishabh Pant unbeaten on 22.

"India losing the toss and being asked to bat first could well turn out to be a blessing in disguise for with the way the pitch has played the ball could turn for the team batting last and that won't be easy to negotiate," Gavaskar wrote.

"The Kohli-Rahane partnership steadied the innings and England once again were on the back foot. If India can get 400, they can put themselves in a position to take control of the match."
First Published: August 19, 2018, 1:38 PM IST

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