Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane Strike Attacking 1950s in Johannesburg© AFP
Former India opener Aakash Chopra praised Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. The veteran batters struck offensively for half a century on Day 3 of the second Test game against South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg to give India some breathing space in its second innings. Both Rahane and Pujara, who have come under fire for their long-standing meager patch in Test cricket, came out on Wednesday with a lot of positivity, scoring more than five runs per over in the first hour. Pujara was the first to reach fifty, followed by Rahane. The duo tied for a 111-run third wicket before Kagiso Rabada knocked them both off in quick succession. Rahane was the first to go for 58 when he shoved one and then Pujara LBW was stuck for 53.
Chopra said that Pujara and Rahane are “pedigree” players and it is therefore important to “invest” in experienced players like them.
“That’s why you invest in experience. These are players with a pedigree. Pujara and Rahane came back with a very positive intention,” Chopra said on the show after lunch on Star Sports.
The former opener said that Pujara would be better off scoring runs, as that has brought success more often than not for the righthander.
“If you go back to the last two years, you will see that in all the good innings that Pujara has played there is one common factor and that is that he has been looking for runs. He just went out to try and react to the ball When you go through a bad patch it’s easier said than done But every once in a while you have to remind yourself that I’m probably focusing on too many factors rather than just reacting to the ball Last innings of this test , you know there’s no Virat Kohli, the openers haven’t given you the start you always have and if we don’t get it right here… Forget yourself, think of the team and that’s where you go back in the groove , you’ll find your mojo,” he added.
Chopra hoped that now Rahand and Pujara will not play to save their careers and instead will make a lot of runs for India.
“The same goes for Rahane. Hopefully we are talking about the points they have scored and not careers at stake or handed over by a thin line because it is not good for people who have played so much cricket.” he said.
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