"Sometimes It Doesn't Happen": Rahul Dravid On Cheteshwar Pujara's Batting Form
South Africa vs India, 2nd Test: Having been dismissed for a golden duck during the first Test in Centurion, Cheteshwar Pujara received support from head coach Rahul Dravid.
- Rahul Dravid gave his backing to Cheteshwar Pujara
- Cheteshwar Pujara has been in bad form lately
- He also registered a golden duck in the 1st Test
Currently going through a run of bad form, veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara has received backing from head coach Rahul Dravid ahead of India's upcoming second Test match against South Africa. Speaking during a pre-match press conference, Dravid stated that he wasn't "concerned" and "it's not a question about being worried" about Pujara's form. Despite India's win in the first Test match in Centurion, Pujara was in poor form and was dismissed for a golden duck during India's first innings. During the second innings, he could only muster 16 runs off 64 deliveries before losing his wicket to Lungi Ngidi, who also took his wicket in the first innings.
When asked if he was concerned with his senior player's form, Dravid replied, "I hate using the word concerned. I think he is doing the best he can. I do recognise that at times, certainly, he would like to score runs. Someone like him has set really high standards for himself. Obviously, he has achieved a lot of success in the ten years that he has played. So he knows the highs he had and success he has had. The kind of performances and run of scores he has had in the past. So obviously he would like to kind of replicate that. He would like to keep doing that over and over again. Sometimes it doesn't happen."
"It's not a question about being worried. It's about recognising as a batsman that, look, (as) a middle-order player, it is sometimes tough to bat and is not easy to bat in these conditions. But when you do get set, it's really nice if one of your top 3 or top 4 can convert that to a big score."
"We saw the value of that in Rahul's 100."
Despite poor knocks from senior batters, India ended up winning the match by 113 runs, courtesy of a fine century from KL Rahul. The swashbuckling batter slammed 123 runs off 260 balls during the first innings, helping his side post 327.
In response to India's first innings total, the Proteas could only muster 197 runs.
The visitors set a target of 305 runs after registering 174 runs in their second innings, which South Africa failed to reach and managed to only post 191.
Pujara will be hoping to get back to form for the second Test, which is scheduled to begin from January 3. The Indian team management also must be hoping the same considering the 33-year-old's importance to the team. Dravid also stated that if Pujara finds his footing, he could be a game-changer for India.
"You know if that happens, it really sets you up very well as a team and it would be great if Pujara can do that. We know when he does that, a lot of times India wins those games or we put ourselves in really good positions", he added.