Cheteshwar Pujara, the heir to the throne of Rahul Dravid’s title of Mr. Dependable, spent more than a month playing the English county cricket for Yorkshire. However, his past few performances have only put the Indian team management; as he managed to accumulate only 172 runs in 12 innings at 14.33, and went past 40 only on one occasion during his stint with Yorkshire.
He also failed in both innings of the only practice game Team India had against Essex. However, director Yorkshire county, Martyn Moxon shared his views about Pujara’s struggles being more about conditions and opposition, rather than any technical shortcomings.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Moxon said, “In the four-day stuff, he obviously didn’t get the volume of runs that we would have expected or we would have liked. He actually did really well for us in 50-over cricket. But at the start of the year, he had a couple of poor LBW decisions and ran himself out as well. That didn’t help him with his rhythm getting into the season. There was so much rain in the early part of the season when he played. The pitches were very seamer-friendly, so it was not easy for anybody to bat long to be honest. There’s a bit of reasoning behind him not scoring the runs. The pitches were a little bit tricky. “
Moxon also analyzed Pujara’s game technique wise and said, “No, there’s nothing in particular from the technique point of view. His alignment and balance were fine this time. He worked extremely hard on his game. He was the model professional in that respect. He just didn’t get going. There were times when you thought, this is the day he’s going to go and make a big one. But then he found a way of getting himself out. He’s as frustrated as we were, but there wasn’t anything technical to be bothered about.”
With Pujara getting out frequently to quicks by poking at outswingers, Moxon said, “It was just the moving ball. You look at the scores around the country in that period, there weren’t many batsmen scoring a lot of runs. Since, Pujara played Championship cricket for us, we’ve had a heatwave. There may be less sideways movement during the Test series than what he encountered in county cricket this year.”
He also gave his views on Pujara taking 42 balls to get off the mark and said, “From our point of view, he was working extremely hard. Surrey had a good attack and didn’t give him anything to score of. It was the quality of their bowling as opposed to anything Pujara could have done. And then the surprising thing I suppose in that particular game was he’d got through all that hard-work and got to about 20, and then got out caught off an off-spinner.”
Talking about Pujara the man off the field, Moxon gave full marks to the gentleman, saying, “He was just the same. He is a perfect gentleman. A hardworking professional cricketer and very popular in the dressing-room. That didn’t change at all. There’s a great fondness for Pujara in our dressing-room.”
“Pujara himself said he was disappointed that he didn’t get the volume of runs in the County Championship. He said ‘I’m really sorry but I tried my best.’ And we knew that. There’s no denying that he gave everything he had. But it didn’t quite work out. He knows that, everybody knows that,” Moxon revealed in the interview.
(With inputs from Indian Express.com)