India’s senior opener Rohit Sharma believes that a player of Cheteshwar Pujara‘s stature doesn’t need to be told anything about his batting and the innings of 91 not out in the third Test against England showed his “intent” and “character”.
By stumps on the third evening, India reached 215 for two in their second innings courtesy Pujara and Rohit, who scored a half-century while skipper Virat Kohli was also closing in on his milestone.
“You are talking about someone who has played 80-odd Test matches. I don’t think anything needs to be shown (to him) before Test matches.
“Yes, there are times to go and show all of that but during Test matches, there isn’t time to go into the detail of what you are doing and what you want to do as a batter,” Rohit told mediapersons when asked if Pujara was shown old video clips of his batting.
The much talked-about word whenever Pujara comes in to bat is “intent” and Rohit felt that their number three batsman has that in abundance.
“Pujara definitely came with an intent to score runs and this innings of ours was never about survival,” said Rohit, who himself scored 59.
“We came with an intent to score runs. Pujara clearly showed that. Anything loose he pounced and that showed he had intent in his batting. He showed that any loose deliveries won’t be spared.”
Rohit acknowledged that Pujara went through a rough patch, adding that this innings showed his character.
“Of course, of late, the runs haven’t come but that doesn’t mean that quality of Pujara has gone missing. You must have seen today that it wasn’t the easiest of situations to go in when you are 300 odd behind.
“And to bat the way he batted showed the character and mindset of an individual as well. Someone who has gone everywhere and scored runs.”
However, Rohit also admitted that with 139 runs still in arrears, India are still in danger and wants Pujara to bat well on the fourth day also.
“From his perspective, he has done well but the team’s job is not done yet. We have a crucial couple of days coming, and hopefully, he can put his head down and keep batting like the way he does.”
The criticism of Pujara, according to Rohit, has been an external thing as the team very well knows his value.
“To be honest, there hasn’t been any talks. Talks are happening outside. We know his quality and experience and I don’t think we need to have much of a discussion. If you talk about recent performance, yes he has not scored runs but we saw crucial partnership between him and Ajinkya at Lord’s.
“Not to forget what he did in Australia. He played those crucial knocks for winning the series in Australia.”
The stylish batsman urged people not to have a short memory when it comes to achievers.
“Sometimes our memories are shortened and we need to think what the guy has done over the years. It’s not about one or two innings or series,” he stated.