Australians love to hate Cheteshwar Pujara, says pacer Josh Hazlewood

Written by Abhishek Patil

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood feels Cheteshwar Pujara is one of the most difficult batters to bowl to, and when you do end up getting his wicket, it means you have earned it.

India batter Pujara puts a price tag on his wicket and there is a “thrill” one gets after dismissing him, says Hazlewood, who is nursing a tendon injury which sidelined him during the Test series against India, added that Pujara is someone Australians “love to hate”.

Pujara recently completed a century of Test matches during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and though he couldn’t score big in the four Tests, he still had some major contributions.

“It’s a bigger thrill for the bowlers (to dismiss Pujara). I think when you do end up getting his wicket, it means you have earned it,” Hazlewood said on RCB podcast on Tuesday.

“It means you’ve put in a lot of hard work. Whether it is the fifth ball he (Pujara) faces… you’ve already bowled to him in the previous Test matches, you’ve earned that respect and you’ve earned that wicket,” added Hazlewood, who was RCB’s pace spearhead during IPL 2022, taking 20 wickets.

“He’s someone I’ve had some great tussles over the years, and, in particular, in Australia. He’s someone Australians love to hate but he’s a fantastic player and I guess that is part of Test cricket. When you do get him out, you’ve earned it,” said Hazlewood, whose participation in IPL 2023 could be in doubt because of the tendon injury.

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Abhishek Patil