India captain Virat Kohli urged the Indian team’s critics to leave ace batsman Cheteshwar Pujara alone after his slow batting average has been consistently condemned for the past 2-3 years. He went on to say that it is up to you to find out the “drawbacks” of your game.
Pujara is India’s second highest test run getter on the current team with 6,267 runs in 82 tests and was the hero of India’s first test run win in Australia in 2018-19, which scored three centuries in four tests including the best of 193 in Sydney.
However, this was his last century of testing and has not hit the three-digit mark since then, but set the record for the slowest test in half a century by an Indian during the 2020-21 series of tests in Australia, which India won 2. 1.
I honestly believe that a player of his caliber and experience should be left alone: Virat Kohli on Cheteshwar Pujara
When asked about pujara bait, Kohli came up with his reliable number 3, albeit with a rider. The captain said players at this level are aware of their duties and excessive criticism does not bother them, least of all pujara.
“It’s been going on for a while and I honestly believe that a player of his caliber and experience should be left alone and it should absolutely be up to the individual to find out what the drawbacks of their game are.” said Kohli on the eve of the first test against England.
“Just like me or any other player on this team, we are very aware of what we have to do for the good of the team. I can say from the outside that criticism is unnecessary, but I know full well that Pujara doesn’t care and criticism is as relevant as you want it to be. People can say what they want to say outwardly and those are just words at the end of the day. If you feel that they mean no value to you, you just go ahead and go on your way,” he added.
In addition, Virat Kohli said the Indian team are much better prepared than their last tour in 2018 when India lost 4-1. He said that players who were inexperienced then now have experience. And while there could be defaults, he believes India have enough players to do well in pressure situations.
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