Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra was happy to note Cheteshwar Pujara’s aggressive approach in the second innings of the second Test match against South Africa at the Wanderers, Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Pujara came out to bat with the right intent as he scored an unbeaten quickfire knock of 35 runs off just 42 balls to help India extend their lead to 58 runs.
Pujara came to the crease after the dismissal of captain KL Rahul. The right-hander scored seven fours in his knock as he scored his runs at a strike rate of 83.33. In fact, Pujara has been under immense pressure to keep his place in the team as he hasn’t been in the best of forms in the last couple of years.
The solid batsman had scored his last Test century back in January 2019 when he scored 193 runs against Australia in the Sydney Test match. Furthermore, he was dismissed for only three runs in the first innings.
Pujara was able to hit the ground running and played at the top of his game. In fact, apart from one pull shot, which Pujara top-edged, the right-hander looked in complete control of his shots.
Akash Chopra said on Star Sports, “If you are a batter and you are in the middle, your primary job is only to score runs. Sometimes you leave a lot of balls alone like Cheteshwar Pujara has done all his life or KL Rahul was doing but around those lots of leaves and defensive shots, you need to play the aggressive shots.”
“The good thing is that just like at Leeds, we saw the second innings of the third Test match where Pujara came out with the intent to score runs, this time once again he has come out to score runs.”
The renowned commentator believes batting with a positive approach is the only way to bat on this pitch, which has an unpredictable bounce. A batter is never settled on a pitch like the Wanderers and batsmanship is not easy.
He added, “This is the only way, to be honest because there is a bit of uneven bounce on this surface, perhaps a bit too much for my liking on a Day 2 pitch. You got to make sure that if the ball is there for you to score runs, you put bat to ball with that intent, not just hang the bat there hoping that you will survive.”
India has a lead of 58 runs and they would aim to build a strong total.