India can try playing Cheteshwar Pujara in shorter formats: Sunil Gavaskar to NDTV

Updated: 19 November 2012 21:00 IST

"What he showed by hitting the ball down the ground and getting boundaries, he can also score at a fast pace," Gavaskar said about Pujara who was also given the man-of-the-match for his 206 and 41 in the first Test match against England, which India won comfortably by nine wickets.

India can try playing Cheteshwar Pujara in shorter formats: Sunil Gavaskar to NDTV

New Delhi:

Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar on Monday said that Rahul Dravid's replacement Cheteshwar Pujara has his basics in the right place and thus playing him in limited over formats can be experimented with.

"Something that certainly can be given a try, because he has got the basics right. If you have the basics right then expanding your shot-making capabilities is not so much of a problem," Gavaskar said when asked about Pujara scoring at a faster rate than Virender Sehwag during India's chase on the final day of the first Test against England.

"You have the licence to play lot more shots in the limited overs cricket than in Test cricket. It is just a matter of confidence. He has been in the IPL teams... he hasn't really got an opening. Even there he bats down the order, where he has got to come in and start hitting the ball in the air soon enough. That is not something that he is comfortable with," he told NDTV.

"What he showed by hitting the ball down the ground and getting boundaries, he can also score at a fast pace," Gavaskar said about Pujara who was also given the man-of-the-match for his 206 and 41 in the first Test match against England, which India won comfortably by nine wickets.

Asked whether the Indians were a little lucky to get a shot at the best of the conditions in Ahmedabad, Gavaskar said: "Indian pitches are generally very-very good to bat on the first couple of days, then they sort of slow-down and have a bit of spin. Sometimes the ball keeps low. So you win the toss and you bat first."

"You have the opportunity to put up a decent total on the board and India did more than decent. They scored more than 500 runs. Batting first becomes an important aspect on Indian pitches."

On the Indian fast bowlers' performance with respect to that of England's pacers, Gavaskar felt that the visitors lacked the skill to bowl with SG balls.

"England bowlers are perhaps not used to bowling with the SG ball and that is one of the reasons they were not able to get the contrast swing which Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan were able to get," he said.

"Zaheer and Umesh were bowling a much fuller length while the English bowlers were bowling just short of length than they are used to in England or on Australian surfaces. If you want to succeed as a bowler in India you got to bowl a much fuller length. You got to get the batsman committed on the front-foot, committed into playing attacking shots. That is where you can get wickets," Gavaskar insisted.

Gavaskar, meanwhile, dismissed the exchange of words between Pragyan Ojha and Stuart Broad as a "storm in the cup".

"That was an over reaction," the former India captain said.

On the prospect of Harbhajan Singh making a comeback into the Indian team, Gavaskar said: "He certainly seems to be very keen on making a comeback to the team and given that (Ravichandran) Ashwin was not as effective as he is used to, Harbhajan may be sniffing a small opportunity."

Asked whether India might go in with three spinners in the matches to come, Gavaskar said that was only possible if India goes in with just five batsmen, which is quite unlikely to happen.

(With PTI inputs)

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