Indian cricket team batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has urged teammate Rishabh Pant to be more selective and sensible with his shots.
The young wicket-keeper batsman fell just nine runs short of a well-deserved century in the ongoing first Test match against England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The 23-year-old southpaw missed out on his third Test century after going for a needless shot. Interestingly, this is the fourth instance of Pant getting dismissed in the 90s in the 17 Test matches that he has played.
Pant and Pujara had stitched an incredible 119-run stand for the fifth wicket to revive India’s first innings after the hosts were reeling at 73/4 on Day 3.
After the day's play Pujara stated that while he doesn’t want Pant to curb his natural attacking instincts, he would like the swashbuckling young batsman to be more ‘sensible’ with his shot selection while putting the team’s requirements above everything else.
"There is a clear communication with him that there are some shots which he needs to avoid. There are some shots which he can continue playing if they are in his range. Then there are times when he has to understand, and even the coaching staff always communicates with him, that he has to put the team first and be a little sensible at times. He has done that most of the times. There are times he gets out and he looks ugly, but he will learn," Pujara said.
"He (Pant) is capable of putting the team first and at the same time put up a decent total. Because you know whenever he bats, if he bats longer, we always end up putting a big total. I am sure he will realise that,” Team India’s Te specialist added.
Pujara was involved in a few good partnerships with Pant in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia Down Under.
The duo did well together on fifth day wickets in the third and fourth Tests at Sydney and Brisbane of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Pujara said that Pant's naturally aggressive game helps take the pressure off him.
"That is his natural game, can't restrict it much because if he gets too defensive he can get out. Rather it is good that he plays his shots. But at times he has to be very selective about what shots to play. And in what situations he can take risk or stay at the crease. The more he plays, the more he will learn.”
Meanwhile, England bowled India out for 337 runs in their first innings, thus taking a massive lead of 241 runs on Day 4 of the first Test in Chennai. The visitors had posted a mammoth 578 runs in their first innings courtesy a double ton by their captain Joe Root. England have decided not to enforce the follow-on and will bat again.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter/BCCI