One of the mainstays in the Indian middle order, Cheteshwar Pujara has been receiving praises from all quarters after his dream run in the longest format of the game.
His solidity in the middle order has also made his captain speak very highly of him and has also rated him as the best Test batsman in the team. However KKR captain, Gautam Gambhir went a step further and said Pujarra is a far more consistent batsman in Tests than captain Virat Kohli or opener Shikhar Dhawan.
“We don’t give too much importance to Test cricket, and that is the reason. It is all about white-ball cricket and what people do in ODIs and T20s. But yes, when it comes to red-ball cricket, he is right at the top. Maybe far more consistent than Kohli or Dhawan,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by the DNA.
The out of favour Indian opener also added that playing only one format has helped Pujara remain focused on red ball cricket.
“Look, one thing which is really important to note is that he’s playing only one form of the game. He can actually keep his mind pretty stable while playing and preparing only for five-day cricket. Had he been playing One-Dayers and T20Is as well, it would’ve been much more difficult for him, because sometimes you have to change your mindset.
When you’re not scoring runs in One-Day cricket, you go into a Test series not with the same confidence. But when you’re playing just one format, it is easier to be consistent than someone who is playing all three formats,” the left-hander said.
Gambhir also added that playing county cricket in tough conditions has helped Pujara stay at the top.
“He’s a quality player, no doubt about that, but playing only one format definitely goes in his favour. And also playing county cricket ensures that his focus is always on red-ball cricket. It keeps you in that frame of mind of playing four-day cricket and red-ball cricket as well, which is of a lot of help when you go into a Test match. You don’t get enough red-ball cricket in India, especially when the IPL (Indian Premier League) is on.
And, India plays a lot of white-ball cricket. So, the only way you can get into that zone is either play county cricket or keep preparing with the red ball. But the best preparation is going to the county and getting four-day matches, also under difficult conditions because in England the ball does a lot of things. So from county cricket when you come to Sri Lankan conditions, it always gets easier,” Gambhir concluded.