Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar believes Cheteshwar Pujara’s experience of playing in the County Championship Division Two will be crucial for the team ahead of the World Test Championship final. Gavaskar feels Pujara’s inputs will be invaluable for the batting unit.
When all the players were plying their trade in the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2023, Cheteshwar Pujara was gearing up for the WTC Final while playing for Sussex.
The right-hander scored 545 runs in eight innings at an average of 68.12, including three centuries and he is the second-highest run-getter of the tournament. Pujara also led Sussex and he can also share his leadership inputs to skipper Rohit Sharma.
Speaking on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar said, “The fact that he is been around will mean that he will have also seen how the pitch has been behaving at The Oval. He might not have played at The Oval, and he might be in Sussex not too far away from London but he will have kept an eye on what is happening and his inputs will be invaluable as far as the batting unit is concerned or even as far as the captaincy is concerned.”
Pujara was also leading Steven Smith, who is averaging 40.66 in three games for Sussex.
“He will have the captains here as far as the Oval pitch is concerned and don’t forget he has also captained the team, so he definitely will have worked out quite a few strategies seeing that Steve Smith, the Australian is his teammate at the moment,” he added.
Gavaskar, who scored 1152 runs in 16 Test matches in England at an average of 41.14 during his heydays, advised the Indian batters to play as late as possible to negate swing in the tough English conditions.
“I think they are going to look at their bat speed. Coming from T20 where the bat speed is very fast to test cricket where the bat speeds got to be a lot more controlled, that is something they’ll need to do. They’ll need to play in England as late as possible to allow for the swing to do its bit, not to reach out for the ball which often a lot of people make the mistake of having played on good pitches.”
The WTC final will be played at the Oval from June 7.