Off The Field

Cheteshwar Pujara hurt Australia badly in 2018/19 series: Matthew Hayden

Written by Abhishek Patil

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden feels the hosts will need a lot of caffeine to watch India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara bat against them in the upcoming Test series as he is one of the very few batsmen in world cricket who can hurt the opposition teams despite his low strike rate.

Cheteshwar Pujara played a very important role in India’s maiden Test series Down Under. Pujara amassed 521 runs in a span of 1258 deliveries during four Tests to become the cynosure of all eyes as the series ended. Pujara’s role becomes more critical for India once skipper Virat Kohli returns following the conclusion of the first Test of the four-match series.

“As you know Australians love to drink coffee, and we have decided to go on a little campaign to make sure we have plenty of caffeine when it comes to watching Pujara bat. But, you know what the reality is, he hurt us badly,” Matthew Hayden said while speaking on Star Sports show Game Plan.

“We are of a generation now where we are admiring people for their strike play, we are admiring people for their strike rate. Well he is one of the few guys in Test cricket that have a strike rate of sub 45 and he can hurt you,” Hayden added.

India legend Sunil Gavaskar was full of praises for Pujara and said that he was looking forward to seeing him bat in the upcoming series.

“Whether he (Pujara) has played any cricket or not, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference because he is so strong mentally, that he will be…he loves batting, he loves being at the crease, he loves wearing the bowlers down. In the last two years, he has also improved his strokes and range of shots,” said Gavaskar.

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Abhishek Patil