Cheteshwar Pujara was the hero of India’s historic 2018-19 Test triumph in Australia. He amassed 521 runs in four Tests at an average of 74.43 with three hundreds.
Virat Kohli will miss three of the four Tests in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and there will be additional responsibility on Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara in the Indian skipper's absence.
Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar feels that it is important for Pujara to be left alone so that there is no additional pressure on him.
“Pujara should be allowed to play the game he knows best. That’s what got him here. You don’t tamper with a player’s natural aptitude or temperament. Like you never told Sehwag how to play, nobody should be telling Pujara how to get runs as long as he is getting the runs and the hundreds,” Gavaskar said during an interaction on Sony Network.
“If he is let alone and no pressure is put on him, that’s going to work in India’s favour. He is so rock steady, the others can score around him and play shots,” the former Indian captain further stated.
Split captaincy debate can take place after Australia tour: Sunil Gavaskar
Following Rohit Sharma leading the Mumbai Indians to yet another IPL title, the talk surrounding split captaincy in the Indian cricket team has been steadily gaining voice. Gavaskar, however, opined that the debate should be on the back burner for now, and that the focus should be on the Australia tour.
“That (discussion) is after the Australia tour. Let’s just focus on this tour because it’s going to be very important for not just Indian cricket but world cricket too. This is a very different Australian side that they will be facing this time. What this pandemic has taught us is, don’t look too far ahead,” he opined.
India have failed to win a single ICC title since the Champions Trophy triumph under MS Dhoni back in 2013.
Coming to the Australia series, it will begin with the first of the three ODIs at Sydney on November 27. The second ODI will also be played at the SCG on November 29, while the third One-Dayer will be played at Manuka Oval on December 2.
The first T20I will also be held at the Manuka Oval on December 4, followed by the remaining two matches at the SCG on December 6 and 8.
The limited-overs contests will be followed by four Tests, the first of which will be a Day/Night encounter at Adelaide starting December 17.
While Virat Kohli will miss three of the four Tests, Rohit Sharma will be unavailable for the limited-overs games and will only join the team for the Test matches owing to fitness issues.
Cricket Australia (CA), on Friday, revealed that all three T20Is and two ODIs between India and Australia were sold out after the tickets went on sale in the morning.