India batter Cheteshwar Pujara, earlier this year, was dropped from the team for the home Test series against Sri Lanka, following his dip in form. However, the veteran cricketer made a comeback for the rescheduled fifth Test against England, after scoring runs in bulk in County cricket, as well as the domestic circuit. Former India batter Mohammad Kaif was all praise for Pujara, saying that the veteran has set an example for young players as he did not give up hope after being dropped.
Kaif said that the selectors made a mistake by dropping Pujara, and the batter, with his performances, made them surrender.
“The way he scored runs after getting dropped, he has set an example for young players on how to make a comeback. He went to play County cricket, he scored centuries in four-day matches and 50-over games, which prompted the selectors to recall him. He made the selectors surrender in front of him,” Kaif told NDTV during an interaction organised by the Sony Sports Network.
Kaif also suggested that the Indian team needs players like Pujara who can bat on pace, as well as spin-friendly tracks, adding that age is just a number for a player of his calibre.
“Age has nothing to do with cricket. It is a skill-based game. It’s not football, where you have to run up and down continuously during the match. In fact, age is a plus point. You learn with experience and improve. Pujara, Kohli and Rohit and prime examples. Test cricket is a skill-based format, you have to play for days and you need experience for that. You need players who can bat on turning, as well as seaming tracks, and you only get better with time. Pujara is a prime example,” he added.
India will take on Bangladesh in a two-match Test series, starting Wednesday, December 14.
India captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the first game due to a thumb injury.
In his absence, KL Rahul will lead the team, while Pujara will deputise.
Watch the LIVE coverage of Bangladesh vs India – 1st test on Sony Sports Ten 5 channels from 14th to 18th December at 9:00 am IST
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