NEW DELHI, Jan.29 (Reuters) – Drummer Cheteshwar Pujara has been criticized for his low strike rate in Australia, but India’s premier bulwark has no plans to change his game since his stubborn style has the support of his teammates and management.
Built around compact defense and Zen balance, Pujara’s staff was a key factor in India’s epic 2-1 Series victory in Australia earlier this month.
He totaled 271 points with a 29.2 hit rate, but more importantly, 928 balls – the best of any batsman in the four-test series.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting criticized Pujara’s strike rate in the third test in Sydney, but the test specialist was not upset.
“They have a right to say how they feel. But I feel like I’m doing a job for my team and I know what’s best for the team and myself,” the number three told The Times of India.
“If I have a game plan, and if it helps me and the team, then I just have to stick to it.”
Pujara fought like a gladiator on Brisbane’s decider’s last day, taking 11 hits to the body while compiling a fight of fifty.
In a low scoring streak, only three drummers – Australian duo Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, and Indian backup captain Ajinkya Rahane – have succeeded in centuries.
Pujara said neither Rahane nor head coach Ravi Shastri asked him to score faster.
“Both have completely supported me,” he added.
“There hasn’t been a time when they’ve asked me to play faster. They’ve always said to me, ‘You play your natural game. Don’t think about anything and don’t worry. “”
India will then play a four-test series against England from Chennai on February 5.