The Pujara Sr maxim that never fails Cheteshwar

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first_imgAdelaide Test hero Cheteshwar Pujara paid his father the ultimate tribute saying ‘he believed in my ability more than I believed in mine’ at the man of the match presentation. Pujara’s 123 and 71 in the Adelaide Test match shaped a rare Test win for India in the beginning of an away tour.Pujara Sr, Arvind, a former first class cricketer plays it down while chatting to India Today. “He was just trying to say how much I know his game,” he says.Throughout the conversation Arvind Pujara talks about Cheteshwar’s Test game as ‘our game’. Might as well! No one else knows Cheteshwar’s batting better than he does having played dual responsiblies of a father and personal coach, all his life.Cheteshwar had to alter his preparations for the Australian tour and skip the warm up game in New Zealand with India A after his father took ill. He wanted to be around him and modified his tour planning. But the India no. 3 did say after the match, ‘the preparations back home were the most important’.So how did he prepare for Australia in Rajkot? “Let’s not talk about it that much. These days they dissect things so much. I noticed how they had done home work on him with a couple of field placements,” says Arvind Pujara.Planning is sacrosanct for the Pujaras and the training methods will remain under wraps. Father Arvind watches each of his son’s matches but is never tempted to fall for the emotion of watching his son do well in person at the stadium.advertisement”It’s been so many years now. It’s difficult to segregate my roles of being a father and coach now.I watch all his games and I don’t go to the ground. I have to watch his game technically so I have to watch it on TV at home” he says.Even after 65 Tests in international cricket and working with some of the best brains, Cheteshwar continues to bank on the original tutors technical detail.”When I see him getting out in a particular fashion, I look to tell him he needs more work in that area. Most of what we talk is all technical,” he says.After Pujara’s match winning efforts at Adelaide, all the strike rate talk is now in the past. Captain Virat Kohli called Pujara ‘the difference between the two sides’.After being dropped from the first Test in England, Pujara has batted with freedom twice, successfully changing gears while shepherding the tail at Southampton in England and at Adelaide. Cheteshwar is no stranger to playing shots says Arvind but he would not use them till his team is in the safe zone.”See no shots are possible unless that ability is in you. But the format ‘we’ play is Test cricket. And in Test cricket you have to play according to situation. It’s a non negotiable. You can’t try to be too smart.Ultimately it’s a team game. What you score individually is a by-product. You just can’t lose your wicket if the match situation demands caution.”It’s this old school maxim from his old man that has stood India’s gritty Test no.3 in good stead against the most fearsome of bowling attacks.Also Read | Virat Kohli sets sights on series triumph after historic Adelaide victoryAlso Read | India learnt their lessons after foolish cricket on Day 1: Ravi Shastrilast_img

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