India captain Virat Kohli has urged critics of the Indian team to leave the batsman Cheteshwar Pujara alone after the constant condemnation of his slow strike rate over the past 2-3 years. He further said that it is up to individuals to find out the ‘disadvantages’ in their game.
Pujara is India’s second highest Test run in the current team with 6267 runs in 82 Tests and was the hero of India’s first Test series victory in Australia in 2018-19, scoring three centuries in four Tests, including the best of 193 in Sydney.
However, it was his last Test century and since then he has not reached the three-figure mark, but he set the record for the slowest Test century by an Indian during the 2020-21 Test series in Australia, which India won by 2 points. 1.
I honestly feel that a player of his caliber and experience should be left alone: Virat Kohli at Cheteshwar Pujara
When asked about Pujara bait, Kohli does get to his reliable number 3, but with a rider. The captain said that players at this level are aware of their duties and that improper criticism does not bother them, especially not Pujara.
“It’s been going on for a while and I honestly feel that a player of his caliber and experience should be left alone, and that it should be up to the individual to find out what the disadvantages of his game are,” he said. Kohli said on the eve of the first Test against England.
“Just like me or any other player in this team, we are very aware of the things we need to do for the benefit of the team. I can say from the outside that criticism is unnecessary, but I know Pujara does not care and criticism is as relevant as you want it to be. People can say outside what they want to say, and those are just words at the end of the day. If you feel that it means no value to you, go ahead and walk on your path,he added.
Furthermore, Virat Kohli said that the Indian team was much better prepared than their last tour in 2018 when India lost 1-4. He said players who were then inexperienced now have experience. And while there are failures, he feels India has enough players to do well in pressure situations.