Not to forget what he did in Australia: Rohit Sharma lavishes praise on Pujara

Headingley [UK]: India opener Rohit Sharma lavished praise on Cheteshwar Pujara after the star batsman led visitors’ charge on day three of the ongoing third Test against England on Friday.
Pujara (91), skipper Virat Kohli (45) and Rohit (59) played crucial knocks as India ended day three at Headingley on 215/2. Pujara was going through a lean patch and his form had come under the scanner. But Rohit revealed that the “talk” about Pujara’s form didn’t happen in the dressing room as the team knows how important a player he is.
“To be honest there hasn’t been any talk about Pujara’s batting. I think the talks are only happening outside. Not a single conversation has happened with Pujara regarding his form inside the team dressing room. We know the quality he brings, we know the experience he brings. When you have a guy like that, I don’t think there needs to be much discussion,” said Rohit while replying to a query from ANI in a virtual press conference.
“If you talk about his recent performance, yes I mean he has not scored runs but we saw a crucial partnership between him and Ajinkya at Lord’s. Not to forget what he did in Australia. Those were crucial innings for us winning that historic Test series in Australia. We tend to forget, our memories are a little bit short.
“We need to think about what the guy has done over the years. It is not about one or two innings or one or two series. It’s about what he has done in his entire career,” Rohit added.
The Indian opener admitted that Pujara hadn’t scored runs lately but said everyone needs to look at what he has done for the visitors over the years.
“I understand current form, but the current form doesn’t happen in one innings. Over a number of years he has done well, and that needs to be considered when we talk about someone like him,” said Rohit.
Pujara hit 91 runs off 180 balls, the innings included 15 fours and the batsman looked in great touch.
“He definitely came with an intent to score runs. This innings of ours was never about survival. Our intent was to score runs, and Pujara clearly showed that. The way he got off the mark and then carried on from there. Anything loose, he was ready to pounce. Shows that he had an intent in his batting,” said Rohit.
“That really helps when you have that sort of intent: any loose deliveries will not be spared. With Pujara we have seen over the years that he is a very disciplined batter. Yes of late runs haven’t come but that doesn’t mean that quality of Pujara is gone missing, the quality is always there.
“You must have seen today the way he batted. Not the easiest situation to bat when you are 300 behind. The way he batted shows the character of the individual, and shows the mindset of an individual as well. Somebody who has gone everywhere and scored,” he added.
India is still trailing England by 139 runs and Rohit knows Pujara needs to play with the same intent in the next two days.
“From his perspective, he batted really well, but the team’s job is not done yet. We have got a crucial couple of days coming. Hopefully, he can still put his head down and keep batting the way he does,” said Rohit.

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