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'There Are Times When Rishabh Pant Has to Put Team First and Be Sensible' - Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara, who had made 73, lauded Rishabh Pant but also asked him to be more selective and sensible with his shot selection.

'There Are Times When Rishabh Pant Has to Put Team First and Be Sensible' - Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant are making a habit of putting up crucial partnerships. After their heroics in Australia, the duo once again were together on Sunday against England, adding 119 for the fifth wicket to keep India in the game in the first Test.

Video Highlights - England Dominate Despite Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara's Defiance

Pant made a typically aggressive 91 off 88 on the third day of the first Test before slogging one to the deep looking to attack offspinner Dom Bess. Pujara, who had made 73, lauded Pant but also asked him to be more selective and sensible with his shot selection.

"I am happy with the way overall he (Pant) is playing. He still has to learn a few more things. He still has to put the team into commanding position because he is capable of that and he is missing out on hundreds. So I am sure that he will learn from this -- I speak to him at times at the crease what are the shots he can play and what are the shots he can avoid. He just has to do it," said Pujara in the post match press conference.

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The paid revived India from 73/4 with calculated assault. Pant was heavy on left-arm spinner Jack Leach, hitting him for five sixes. After Pujara's unfortunate dismissal -- he was caught off a rebound from short-leg fielder -- it was left to Pant to guide India to a good total.

However, just nine short of his century, Pant went for a big shot through the off-side only to be caught at deep extra-cover. India were reduced to 225 for 6, still over 350 runs behind England.

"There is a clear communication with him that there are some shots which he needs to avoid. There are some shots which he can continue playing if they are in his range. Then there are times when he has to understand, and even the coaching staff always communicates with him, that he has to put the team first and be a little sensible at times. He has done that most of the times. There are times he gets out and he looks ugly, but he will learn," said Pujara who made 73.

"He (Pant) is capable of putting the team first and at the same time put up a decent total. Because you know whenever he bats, if he bats longer, we always end up putting a big total. I am sure he will realise that.

"That is his natural game, can't restrict it much because if he gets too much defensive he can get out. Rather it is good that he plays his shots. But at times he has to be very selective about what shots to play. And in what situations he can take risk or stay at the crease. The more he plays, the more he will learn. It is not that quick runs are always needed. At times, you have to stay at the crease," Pujara elaborated and said that even if Pant doesn't take risk he has the ability to keep the scoreboard moving.

"When he is there at the crease, the scoreboard keeps moving. It is not like when he stays there he will become very defensive. Balancing things out is the most important thing for him. It becomes easy for me when he starts playing shots as the bowlers come under pressure. From the other end, when I get strike, I keep playing my game. Pressure gets to the opposition and we are able to build good partnerships."

Pujara said he loves batting with Pant and was confident the left-hander will start getting the big centuries soon.

"When a batter is going after the bowlers from one end and if I'm around, there's a good left-right combination which frustrates bowlers. We were building a good partnership. He likes to take on the spinners, it's been a crucial partnership for us and I hope it continues. I love batting with him. And if I can be of any help, on the shots he can play and he should not, I will. He's missing out on 100s but I'm sure he'll learn."

(With IANS inputs)



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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