Australia vs India: Sunil Gavaskar expects Cheteshwar Pujara to be the trump card

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File photo of Cheteshwar Pujara.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been away from some top-level cricket for long given the Test specialist was not part of the Indian Premier League followed by the India vs Australia white-ball series expectedly.

Despite the lack of playing time, his importance in the much-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy doesn’t change as the India no.3 in the batting line-up. Pujara scored three centuries in the 2018 2-1 series triumph Down under while accumulating most runs at 521 while wearing down a strong Aussie bowling unit with his formidable batting.

 “Out of 20 days of Test cricket that we have ahead of us, we are really happy to have him bat for 15 days, there is no question about it,” Gavaskar said on a TV show.

“Whether he has played any cricket or not, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference because he is so strong mentally, that he will be… he loves batting, he loves being at the crease, he loves wearing the bowlers down. In the last two years, he has also improved his strokes and range of shots.”

Earlier former Oz opener Matthew Hayden stressed on Pujara’s importance saying that he hurt Australia badly last time around by wearing down the bowlers with his low strike rate.

“As you know Australians love to drink coffee, and we have decided to go on a little campaign to make sure we have plenty of caffeine when it comes to watching Pujara bat,” Hayden said on the show.

“But, you know what the reality is, he hurt us badly. We are of a generation now where we are admiring people for their stroke play, we are admiring people for their strike rate. Well, he is one of the few guys in Test cricket that have a strike rate of sub 45 and he can hurt you.”



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