Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta praised Pujara for his sensational batting display on Day 3 at Leeds. He pointed out that it took just a slight change in mindset and we were gifted with “Cheteshwar Pujara 2.0”.
Pujara has been struggling recently to be among the run-scorers. His performances up to the Leeds test too were below par. He was even criticized for his intent to just survive at the crease rather than looking to keep the scoreboard moving.
Deep Dasgupta also stated that there was absolutely no change in his batting technique. It all came down to the approach with which he was batting this time. Speaking on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast, the 44-year-old said,
This could be Cheteshwar Pujara 2.0 (…) It’s the same player, not much difference in the technique that we have seen over the series or maybe just a couple of days ago. It’s just the simple flick of the switch or change in the mindset, and he looks a different player altogether
The former cricketer was impressed by the wide range of shots displayed by Pujara during his innings.
What has been really, really pleasing to see is the way how Pujara got those runs. I haven’t seen Pujara playing a pull shot or a cut or a back-foot punch in a while. It’s easier said than done, to change that mindset, be more positive, it’s very easy to sit here and talk about it, but he actually did that out there.”
Former Indian pacer, Venkatesh Prasad, now known to the young generation because of his “Music Boyband”, tweeted,”Has been criticized unfairly at times, but what a vital innings displaying amazing concentration and mental strength from Pujara today. And Rohit Sharma once again proving why he is extra special, adapted brilliantly curbing his natural game.”
Deep Dasgupta also believes that the innings at Leeds could be a watershed moment in Pujara’s career. Pujara has always been in the scanner for his low strike and lack of intent. But Dasgupta believes if Pujara carries the momentum that he has gained from this innings, then he could silence his critics. Dasgupta concluded, “This could be a watershed moment in Pujara’s career as well. If he can take what he has found here in terms of the tempo, the momentum, for all you know, for the next 2-3 years or 4 years, he might not have a look back from hereon and start playing like the way he has played in this innings.”
The beginning of Day 4 might witness Pujara’s century as he is just 9 runs short.