Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara expressed his thoughts on his new batting position at number 4 and how he felt about the change.
In the one-off Test against Afghanistan played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India had a problem of plenty. However, as Virat Kohli was out due to injury and was taking rest, India devised a new plan.
They played all the three openers in Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. While Vijay and Dhawan opened the batting, KL Rahul was pushed at number three.
This meant that Pujara had to bat at no 4. However, the solid batsman was able to bat at number 4 because of Virat Kohli’s absence.
It is highly unlikely that Pujara bats at no 4 now as Kohli has come back to the team. The batsman himself acknowledged the fact. He said that it was a one off incident.
“Basically, I have been batting at No. 3. Obviously, after the team discussions, I will mostly continue to bat at No. 3. But with team situations and requirements, if it is a one-odd game, and have to do it for the team, you should be okay. Most likely, I will bat at No. 3. It is something that I can’t say much about,” he said.
“Not a major difference because you are still batting at the top of the order, you still have the same job of scoring runs for the team. It was a one-off situation where the team combination was such that I had to change my position. There is still some difference but you still have to do the job for the team.”
Being a bit under the scanner after his string of low scores in County cricket, Pujara still feels that he has nothing to worry.
“There is nothing to fear about. With the way I have performed for the Indian team, the way I have contributed, I don’t think I need to fear about anything. At the same time, the team has understood the importance of my role and my contribution for the team.
Indian Batsmen Out Of Asia Since 2013 NZ Tour ! Pujara Needs To Do Well. If He Fails, He Should Be The Next Lad To Be Dropped.#ENGvIND #ViratKohli #Dhawan #RohitSharma #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/fKLaBo4FEH
— Saurabh Shinde (@imsgshinde) July 22, 2018
“I don’t have to fear for anything. The most important thing is to perform for the Indian team, which I have been doing,” said Pujara on the question of whether he was certain to make it to the playing XI or not.
However, if the no 5 batsman is not sorted in the England series, Pujara may have to bat a bit lower down the order in the latter part of the Test series.
India’s Test squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.