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 Dont rush but we can hope

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Golden Egale

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PostSubject: Dont rush but we can hope   Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:39 am

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Kiwis didnt offer a stern test but with an unbeaten ton,Pujara has done enough to suggest that he wont look out of place at No 3

Sriram Veera [Only admins are allowed to see this link] IN HYDERABAD

Cheteshwar Pujara is a plain and straight-forward cricketer.Complexity isnt an adjective used about him.With the other lads from his generation,Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma,you cannot but avoid it;brash,self-absorbed,flashy,representatives of the times.Pujara He bats.And then he disappears.He doesnt look like a guy who will sell a cola or an automobile to you,any time soon.Yesterday,walking in at that hallowed No.3,a spot left vacant by a man whose loss is being mourned,Pujara calmly composed his maiden hundred and powered India to a comfortable 307 for 5 against New Zealand.
These are peculiar,and tough times,the days after Dravid and Laxman.There will be the urge in us to say that Pujara has arrived.There will also be the urge to be extra careful and circumspect and say we cant rush into judgements.Truth,with Pujara,might be somewhere in the middle.Its clear that he looks like he has the skill and the temperament.We cant rush nor wait too long to acknowledge him.He is somewhere in the middle.Enough to get us enthused,enough to get us hoping and that will do for now.
Yesterday,Pujara turned back the clock during his hundred.An old theme from the cricketing manual peered at us: careful start,calm settling in period,brisk rotation of strike,and acceleration in the end.The New Zealand attack wasnt great but the context threw up the difficulties.Not just the retirement of a famous duo but importantly,the match situation.
At 125 for 3,after the fall of an iffy Gautam Gambhir,a lucky Virender Sehwag,and a circumspect Tendulkar,India were leaning on the new generation to get back on their feet.The pitch had begun to deceive Pujara.The pace got slower and the bounce,a touch variable.I had to adjust to it, he said later.Initially,he just waited for the bowlers to drift to his pads to unfurl his tucks and flicks.
The jail-break moment came on his 59th delivery when he had reached 25.Chris Martin dragged one a touch short but the line was tight around the off stump.When Pujara leaned back to punch it sweetly through to the cover boundary,you felt that all was well in his world.Now,you could ease back into the chair and enjoy a young man trying to express himself.
Here is where New Zealand let themselves down.Perhaps,the muggy weather had exposed their sparse bowling skills even further.Tired,and beaten by the elements,they start to err often.A better attack would have tried their best to strangle Pujara,and Kohli,but New Zealand were errant yesterday.The lengths started to shorten and the line wasnt suffocating enough.And Pujara isnt the type to over extend himself.
Expressing oneself isnt just about attacking.Though Pujara did his bit,slamming three fours in an over from the seamer Trent Bolt,and pulling a six off Kane Williamson,it was how he arranged his game around that caught the eye.Even as New Zealand started to tire,he grew in confidence in the late afternoon.The feet started to stride out further than it did in the morning,the balance was better,and the off-side shots started to flow.The cuts past point,the steer through gully,the pushes in the V,and the solidity in defence increased.And so did Kohli,who,these days,wears the look of a man who knows he can achieve his destiny.
Kohli did throw it away,edging an attempted on-the-up flash off Martin,when a century was there for his taking.Pujara couldnt afford a similar breakdown in focus.He has been waiting for years to get into the Indian team,and has just come back from an injury after 18 months,and he wasnt going to throw it away.And he didnt.
On Tuesday,Pujara had played his cards safe when asked about his batting position.But his answer revealed a man who is confident about his own skills and what he can achieve.I am now willing to play anywhere, he told Mirror.I know I cant now ask for my own spot.I will have to score runs consistently against tough opposition to do that.And hopefully I will.
Yesterday,he was given his wish by being promoted to No 3.And though New Zealand didnt offer a stern enough test,Pujara showed enough to suggest that he wont look out of place at that coveted spot.
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Golden Egale

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PostSubject: I want to be myself: Pujara    Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:47 am

Close Centurion plays down comparisons with Rahul Dravid and says he will be happy to contribute in his own way

Sriram Veera [Only admins are allowed to see this link] IN HYDERABAD

Modern India likes its athletes devoid of self-doubts and extremely confident.Cockiness is a trait some of them cherish.The earlier generation,though,craves authentic decency from its sport stars.They like them to be a touch humble.They would love Cheteshwar Pujara,just 24 but seemingly a throwback to an earlier era.
Modesty and decency can feel cheap and fake when it isnt authentic but Pujara seems genuine.Not that he is meek;in fact he is quietly confident.When he walked in at No.3 in the first Test against New Zealand yesterday,he raised a few eyebrows.Virat Kohli was expected to get the right of first refusal to that spot but it was Pujara who was promoted.Was he nervous After all he was replacing Rahul Dravid.
I knew I could bat at No 3.I did not have to worry about anything.My preparation was up to the mark.I played at No 3 for Saurashtra and have enough experience batting up the order.And I was told that I was going to play at No.3.So I was prepared.
What about Dravid Cue a gentle smile.I dont think I can replace Rahul Dravid because he is such a legend.He has more than 10,000 runs in both the formats.Its impossible to replace him.But I want to be myself and do what I can do.
Self-confidence was followed with honesty.When he was in the 90s he played out a maiden over before losing strike for a few overs to Kohli.Was he edgy A touch frustrated At times it was frustrating but I handled it well.I have a strong mind and just told myself to be patient.
When the patience paid off,he didnt celebrate wildly.A punch of the air with the bat and a raised bat to the dressing room was what he offered.Obviously I am really happy;it was a dream to start off like this.
I wanted to score a hundred in my debut game.But somehow I missed it so I am really satisfied that I got my maiden hundred now.
Its been a tough year.He was recuperating from an injury he sustained 18 months ago and was hit with further personal crises.His mother died a few years back and this year,his father had to undergo a by-pass surgery.Aravind Pujara has been the man who has guided and inspired his sons journey in becoming a cricketer.
The other day Cheteshwar talked about how his father wouldnt allow him to skip a single net session.Aravind himself had played a few firstclass games for Saurashtra and he wanted his son to dream bigger.
Understandably,Cheteshwar dedicated his maiden ton to his father.Im very thankful to him.I would like to dedicate this to my father.He has been working with me since I was a child.
He had a by-pass surgery this year but he didnt choose to rest.He continued to coach me and that inspired me a lot.I would like to dedicate this to my father and my mother.
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