Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday (January 9) found it difficult to pick one standout moment from India’s historic Test series triumph in Australia but said that Cheteshwar Pujara was really outstanding throughout the four-match Down Under.
He also lauded the Man of the Series Pujara for his stunning display with the willow in the Test series, amassing 571 runs at a brilliant average of 74.43, saying he has been instrumental in laying the solid foundation for Virat Kohli and his team in Australia.
Speaking at the launch of "Keep Moving" initiative by IDBI Federal Life Insurance, Tendulkar further went on to laud Team India for their stellar show in the Test series, especially impressed the way the Men in Blue produce the brand of cricket in Australia.
Tendulkar told reporters on Wednesday, “Fantastic. The team has done really well. The brand of cricket that India has been able to produce Down Under has been magnificent.”
Commenting on Pujara, the batting legend said, “I find it difficult to pinpoint one moment, but I think Pujara has been really outstanding. The number of statements made on Pujara, which ideally weren't in his favor, kind of undermined (diminished) his contribution. Along with (Pujara), (we) cannot ignore the bowlers' contribution. The bowlers have (also) done exceedingly well.”
He continued, “But somewhere Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation (standing) on which there were a number of guys who went out and got runs. Virat (Kohli) scored runs in the second Test. Ajinkya (Rahane) had that crucial partnership (in the series). Then Rishabh (Pant), (Ravindra) Jadeja - all these guys have done well. Mayank (Agarwal) got off to a good start. But (still) if I have to pinpoint one guy then Pujara stands out along with the fast bowlers.”
Meanwhile, Tendulkar was also hoped that India’s maiden Test series win in Australia would inspire the younger generation.
He added, “I think results like these are really important. I still remember (that) when I was 10 years old, I didn't know much about cricket. But I knew that India had won the World Cup (in 1983) and that's where my journey started.”
Tendulkar signed off by saying, “Hopefully, there are many journeys which have started already. You need these kinds of results to inspire them and make them believe that you can go out and deliver your best and get laurels to our nation. That is exactly what the team has done Down Under.”
(With Press Trust of India Inputs)