It was no different after India lost the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and there were suggestions from different quarters that the team management is not too happy with the slow batting of Pujara.
In the final, he scored 8 off 54 balls in the first innings and followed it up with 15 off 80 in the second, and there were suggestions that his slow batting had allowed the Kiwi bowlers to get on top. There were talks that players who can bat at a faster clip should get the nod ahead of the Saurashtra batsman.
But as we come to another difficult series against England, Pujara still remains a crucial cog in the Indian wheel. While vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane gave his vote of confidence to the player on Monday, the Indian captain Virat Kohli, too, seemed to be throwing his weight behind the batsman who has played crucial hands in India’s most memorable Test wins over the last decade.
“It’s been going on for a while. A player of his calibre and experience should be left alone,” Kohli said. But there was probably a hint of criticism when the captain added: “It should be left to the individual to work on whatever drawbacks he has in his game…It’s the same with me as it is with any other member of the team.”
It probably indicated that Kohli wants Pujara to score a little quickly from time to time, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean he is unhappy with the way the right-hander bats.
“I know for a fact know that Pujara doesn’t care. People can say what they want but at the end of the day, it’s just words,” the captain said.