Father cum coach said, Cheteshwar got the momentum back through better match practice

New Delhi| Cheteshwar Pujara’s father and coach Arvind Pujara feels the Indian Test specialist batsman is doing well in the ongoing County Championship due to getting regular match practice. Arvind said that earlier Cheteshwar was not able to do regular match practice due to restrictions related to Kovid-19.

The veteran Cheteshwar, who played 95 Tests for India, was dropped from the Indian team along with Ajinkya Rahane after they lost the Test series against South Africa at their home.

Pujara, who has been a key part of India’s middle-order, failed to sustain his performance in the last three seasons and averaged less than 30 during which the selectors did not include him in the Test squad for the home series against Sri Lanka.

With two double hundreds and a century in three matches for Sussex this season, Pujara has staked a claim to return to the Indian team for the one-off Test against England in July. Arvind, who has been Cheteshwar’s only personal coach till now, told PTI, “I think not getting a chance to play enough matches was a big reason for his lack of consistency in the last three seasons.”

The Ranji Trophy could not be held due to the pandemic and Cheteshwar, who played only one format, was playing in the Test series without any match practice as there were not enough practice matches. Also, there was a long gap between the two Test series at times due to isolation and limited overs matches.

“When you play against a team like Australia and England, you have to be at the top of your game because they are not going to throw you loose deliveries that you can get at the domestic level,” Arvind said.

He said, “He did not get enough matches to play at the domestic level to prepare for big matches. I think it affected his consistency at the top level.

This year the Ranji Trophy tournament returned after a gap of two years and the 34-year-old Pujara got to play three matches. After Saurashtra failed to qualify for the knockouts, Pujara went to the UK to participate in the county season. Questions have been raised about Cheteshwar’s technique for losing wickets despite playing defensively over the past two years, but without talking about the technical aspect of his son’s game, his father said that if one does not play a sufficient number of matches, then his on the field. The ability to concentrate for a long time is affected.

Arvind said that Cheteshwar was disappointed after being dropped from the Indian team but the setback made him hungry for runs. “The selection is in the hands of the selectors. I told him that you need to keep working hard, keep working hard everyday and you will get results.

On Cheteshwar’s selection for the one-off Test against England in a few months, Arvind said, “It is for the selectors to decide. I think in overseas conditions you need your experienced players to deal with difficult situations and guide the youngsters. He just has to keep scoring runs.

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