“You can’t bat for social media” - Pujara opens up on how he deals with trolls

Cheteshwar Pujara often gets flak for his relatively low strike rate.

Cheteshwar Pujara | Getty

Over the years, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has coped a lot of criticism on social media. At times, trolls target him for his lack of athleticism while he often gets flak for his relatively low strike rate.

See Also: Young generation don't want to become a batsman like me, admits Cheteshwar Pujara

Amid the scrutiny, Pujara has silently gone about his business and proved his critics wrong on numerous occasions in the past. Notably, he had played an instrumental role in India’s first-ever Test series triumph on Australia soil last season, scoring  521 runs at an average of 74.72 including three centuries.

The right-hander had scored hundreds in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney to script India’s twin victories in the series. While the Saurashtra batsman struck 123 in the Test series opener, he notched up the scores of 106 and 193 in the third and fourth Test respectively.

In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Pujara opened up on how he deals with trolls.

“You can’t bat for social media. Many of them don’t understand my game and Test cricket because they see more white-ball cricket. Yaar yeh toh bahut bore kar raha hai, kitna ball khel raha hai (He is boring us, how many balls does he need). Please understand one thing, my aim is not to entertain someone, my aim is to win for my team, be it for India or Saurashtra. Somedays I bat fast, somedays I bat slowly. I respect cricket lovers and crowd, I’m not someone who can hit sixes. I try to avoid social media, I don’t follow social media when I am playing. I am not batting for entertainment,” he said.

Last week, Pujara added another feather to his cap as he was part of the Saurashtra team that clinched its maiden Ranji Trophy title by defeating Bengal in the final. The 32-year-old Pujara played a trademark knock in the first innings, scoring 66 of 237 deliveries.

“In the first innings, I took some 200-odd balls to score 60 something but my teammates and I knew how tough the wicket was. It was a final and there was a responsibility on my shoulders. There is nothing wrong with batting slowly if the situation depends. I have to keep my ego behind, the ego of me being an international batsman and facing some bowlers who bowl at 110 kmph. If the situation is not easy and I know I can’t play my shots, then I will not. Game changes as per the pitch. Like in New Zealand, where the pitches were more challenging,” Pujara said.

Having made his debut in 2010, Pujara has represented India in 77 Tests so far, amassing 5840 runs at an average of 48.66 with 18 centuries and 25 fifties.


By Salman Anjum - 17 Mar, 2020

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