Cheteshwar Pujara has established himself as India’s first choice as number three batsman and has been praised by everyone including captain Virat Kohli. He has two centuries in two Test in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka and Gautam Gambhir has said that he is more consistent in Test cricket that the likes of Kohli and 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 by DNA.
Gambhir also gave the insight on why Pujara may have been so succesful in the longest format of the game.
“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 southpaw said.
Calling Pujara a quality player, Gambhir said playing only one format does help Pujara. He also said that county cricket ensure his focus remains on red-ball cricket.
“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 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 said.