Former Indian legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar has heaped praise on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who played crucial knocks when the team was on the backfoot in the Lord’s Test against England.
Pujara and Rahane joined forces with each other when the team was struggling at 55-3 and they had a lead of only 28 runs at that stage.
The pressure was on both of these veteran batsmen as they were out of form. However, they responded back in style as they showed all the gumption which was needed. The duo was able to bail India out of the jail as they added a fine alliance of 100 runs.
The experienced batsmen took the onus on their shoulders and batted at the top of their game. The visitors added only 49 runs in 28 overs in the second session of the penultimate day but most importantly they didn’t lose any wickets.
Rahane went on to score 61 runs whereas Pujara came up with a valiant effort of 45 runs as he faced 206 balls to score his runs.
“They did (play a crucial role). Both of them are what you call low-profile players and not high-profile players. They don’t get the attention that some others do. It may be because of the style of play or whatever but they are invaluable to the team and they brought all their experience to play,” Gavaskar told Sony Sports after India’s 151-run win in the Lord’s Test.
“They hadn’t scored runs in the first Test. So it was clear that they were under pressure. They hadn’t scored runs in the first innings as well. There were a lot of questions asked about their place in the team and they responded in the only way they could, by stitching together a partnership when it was most needed.
“India were only 28 runs ahead and had lost their best batsmen, Virat Kohli when these two came together. Fabulous effort,” he added.
India posted a total of 298-8 in their second innings and thus took a lead of 272 runs after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami added an alliance of 89 runs.
Meanwhile, these knocks from Pujara and Rahane will give a lot of confidence to the team as the middle-order was looking brittle after their poor form. Both of these batsmen will now look to continue their good form in the remaining three Test matches against England.