Body Blows Motivated Cheteshwar Pujara During Gabba Test
Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara said that the body punches he received during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy final at Brisbane Cricket Ground last year inspired him to go better, and that his focus was to secure a victory or a draw for his team despite the pain.
For India, the Border-Gavaskar 2020-21 Trophy in Australia was historic. During the series, the side bundled out for just 36 in the first Test at Adelaide, which was their lowest test score ever. As the series progressed, the team was plagued by injuries, resulting in the loss of key players with significant experience. Despite this, the team managed to defeat a world-class Australian team in a 2-1 series victory. This includes a historic victory at Brisbane Cricket Ground, better known as the Gabba, where the Australians defeated for the first time in over 30 years.
“I think it (body blows) motivated me to do better. Yes, I was in a bit of pain during the first two blows. When I stuck 2-3 times more at the same spot, the pain more. At one point I hit in my fingers. It was unbearable. I had a chat with physio and he asked If I want to take painkillers. I refused because I do not take medicines during the game because it disturbs my concentration sometimes,” told Pujara to ANI.
So I just told myself that I am hit on my body, but my focus to to draw the game or win it for my country. My focus was to ensure that we do not lose too many wickets during the first two sessions, during the final day of the game,” he added.
Pujara was in attendance for the trailer premiere of Voot Select’s online series ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum.’ shows the journey of India’s 2020/21 tour of Australia, as well as his 148-run partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in the third Test at Sydney, which enabled India earn a draw. On June 16, the series will released.
“We (Pant and Pujara) were under pressure and we had to make sure we do not lose too many wickets at that stage and have a few more runs at the board to make pressure on the bowlers. When you are chasing 400-plus, it is not easy. What we tried was to build a partnership and think of things we could control, which was to play one session at a time, one hour at a time,” he said.
Pant was playing his normal aggressive style. While Pujara was playing his own game and trying to go for his strokes after getting established. “So it was an important partnership between us. Followed by what Ashwin and Vihari did to save the game for us,” he added.
On asked whether the way Pant batted tempted him to play more aggressively, Pujara said, “Not really. One has to stick to their individual strengths. I can’t do what Pant does. He cannot do what I do. We have to stick to our strengths. I did the same. I have enough experience of playing on the Australian soil luckily so that experience helped me. And I kept doing what I could do, what I felt was the best for my team.”
In the third Test, Pujara claimed that everyone contributed to the team. “Even when we look at the series, there were players who came and played. And most of them played well whenever they had an oppurtunity,” he added.
Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, according to the batter, were Australia’s top bowlers during the series.