Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and opener KL Rahul can learn a lot by watching the immaculate defiance and resilience of Cheteshwar Pujara, said former India cricketer, Mohammad Kaif.
It was a wonderful exhibition of what mind over matter is all about, as Pujara showcased ample grit and unfazed character through an effort that had fortitude written all over it. His 123 and 71 across the two innings paved the way for India's historic 31-run victory.
Specifically, the defensive technique and you can understand where Kaif is coming from. Both Pant and KL Rahul seem to be struggling with that.
"Australia is always a tough place to tour but once you get going, you want to keep repeating that in every single game. The likes of Rahul and Pant generally have got a similar kind of mindset," Kaif told DNA, stressing on the need for both of India's talented youngsters to focus over their defence, "They are attacking batsmen and want to score quick runs but then they have to learn to bring in the balance when they are playing Test cricket, especially during an overseas series."
"They must watch how Pujara batted in the first innings, probably talk to him, spend time with him and understand his mindset. To bat for longer hours, you need to approach the defensive technique, learn to leave a lot of balls and make the bowlers work hard. Let the bowlers come to you, rather you going after the ball and that's old school style of batting in Tests."
"All the legends of the game like Sachin [Tendulkar] and [Rahul] Dravid have done that. So, I think these guys must watch their videos and also learn from Pujara and Rahane as they prepare for the next Test," he added.
Kaif is highly impressed with India's astounding bowling attack but aware at the same time of team's batting struggles. This is where he expressed hope of a resurgence from Murali Vijay and wants to see Pujara, as well as Rahane and captain Virat, to stand up for the challenge.
He said, "The bowlers have been fantastic for the last few overseas tours, so yes the batsmen will have to work a bit harder in terms of scoring runs. The likes of KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, who anyway is out with injury, and Rishabh Pant need to score more."
"Pujara, meanwhile, will want to continue his form and Rahane, who got some runs in the second innings, will want to carry his form from Adelaide's second innings forward especially that he is the vice-captain," Kaif, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of the game, added.
The second Test at Perth kickstarts on Friday, December 14.