Fresh from winning the maiden Ranji Trophy title for Saurashtra, India Test regular, Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a vital 66 off 237 balls against Bengal in the final, feels that his batting style might soon become a thing of past.
Pujara's approach at the crease is considered to based on the traditional school of Test batting, wherein he grounds the bowlers into submission before taking the advantage or as he puts it, "I am still that classical player."
The chief architect of India's only Test series win on Australian soil, Pujara, also mentioned the decreasing red-ball matches along with the increase of limited overs cricket as factors that has led to his style of batting going out of fashion.
"Test matches are getting fewer day by day, there are more white-ball games happening. So they won’t copy my style because my batting approach suits Test cricket (more)," he told The Indian Express, "It’s not that I cannot change gears, I can play in shorter formats too. Many people have not seen me bat in white-ball cricket on TV. I know I take some time (to get in) but that’s the way I have been taught when growing up."
However, the 32-year-old also added that the younger generation does understand his gameplay.
Recently, India suffered their first Test series defeat – since the start of World Test Championship – in New Zealand as the Black Caps thumped the world no. 1 side in Wellington and Christchurch.
Pujara was particularly disappointed with his first innings dismissal in the second Test, where the usually stoic batsman fell playing an uncharacteristic pull across the line. The untimely shot had even the most committed cricket watchers by surprise, especially, given the situation his team was in after having lost a well-set Hanuma Vihari – with whom he had strung a 81-run stand that repaired the tottering Indian innings – eight balls prior.
"For me, the biggest regret is the shot that I played during the second Test where I tried to pull. I don’t usually. I never play that kind of a shot. It happened instinctively. I still rue it, I wonder how it happened. Once I am set, I never give my wicket away," Pujara said.
Having gradually recovered from 113 for 4 to 194 for 4, Vihari and Pujara, both fell for 54 as the Kiwis dismissed India for an sub-par 242 in the first innings and eventually lost the second Test by seven wickets, squandering the chance of levelling the series in Christchurch.
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