Pujara stands out, along with fast bowlers: Tendulkar praises India after Australia series win
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday praised batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for his role in India’s historic Test series win in Australia.
Tendulkar was also impressed with brand of cricket produced by Virat Kohli and his men during the four-Test series, calling it “magnificent”.
Tendulkar said “It’s difficult to pick one moment, but Pujara has been really outstanding. There were a number of statements on him which ideally weren’t in his favour and kind of undermine his contribution. I don’t want to undermine our bowlers’ contribution, though. The bowlers have done extremely well. I think somewhere Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation on which a number of guys who got runs. If I’ve to pinpoint that one guy, then Pujara stands out along with the fast bowlers.”
“Virat scored runs in the second Test. Ajinkya [Rahane] had that crucial partnership. Then Rishabh [Pant], [Ravindra] Jadeja – all these guys have done well. Mayank [Agarwal] got off to a good start.”
“More awareness about your diet, training methods. Accessibility to information. These factors have contributed a lot. Not to forget the infrastructure, which is extremely good. Of course, one should all be happy, but never satisfied. I hope we continue to provide better and better facilities to the players. All these things haven’t happened overnight. It’s a process which has taken some time.
Apart from Pujara, the retired great also praised India’s pacers, who too played a key role by taking wickets by the bucketful in Australia. “We’ve got quality fast bowlers. At the same time, the guys (pacers) are very talented. The spinners too have chipped in at various points. What you also want is for your fast bowlers to bowl some hostile spells in patches. And that has happened frequently. It wasn’t just about the new ball, but also to do with the old one too. And how consistently one can bowl 140-plus. I can comfortably say that we’ve a competitive attack for any part of the world, on any surface,” he complimented.
The 45-year-old hailed Virat Kohli & Co for dishing out some ‘magnificent’ cricket Down Under in the recent weeks, and felt that it the triumph would inspire future generations of cricketers in the time to come. “The kind of brand that India’s produced Down Under has been magnificent. Talking about inspiring people…whichever age you are in life, you want heroes in life. And without realising, you end up becoming a hero for the younger generation. And that cycle continues. I think results like these are really, really important. I still remember that when I was a 10-year-old, and didn’t know much about cricket. But I knew that we’d won the World Cup. And that’s where my journey started. Hopefully, there are many journeys which would’ve started already. We need these kind of results to inspire them, to make them believe that they can go out, do their best and bring laurels to our nation. That’s exactly what our triumph has Down Under,” he praised.
“We’re in that fortunate position to go out and dominate world cricket. I said this during the Kanpur Test against New Zealand in 2016: ‘We’ve the right balance of senior cricketers and some incredibly talented guys.’ He said.
The maestro had a healthy piece of advice for the BCCI to keep this momentum going: ‘Make bowler-friendly wickets in domestic cricket.’ “Domestic cricket should be played on more challenging wickets for batters. It would help (lift) the standard of play. I’ve always felt that if you played on good, difficult tracks, your standard of playing automatically goes up. That’s what I’d always expect our domestic cricket to do. Keep surfaces which are challenging for batters. But that doesn’t mean that the bowlers should just roll their arm over and.., for the bowlers also, to control their swing and spin is a skill,” he recommended.
He also credited the IPL for Indian cricket’s upward graph. “The IPL has had a tremendous contribution in building character (of an Indian cricketer). When you started sharing the dressing room with the leading international cricketers for two months, you know exactly what to expect from that guy. And, it works the other way around as well. Earlier when I was playing, I saw Glenn McGrath after every four years in Australia.
“So, it’s given exposure to our youngsters to believe that you go out and compete against anyone in the world. You do well in the IPL, and everyone takes notice. A player may have done well in the Ranji or Duleep Trophy, but the rest of the world doesn’t know about him. The IPL gives you recognition. When you’re recognised and appreciated, it takes you to a different level altogether. That has been our strength in the last 10-11 years. We’ve seen more and more young talent flourish, and that’s only because the right platform was provided,” he said.
Source : TOI and PTI