Cheteshwar Pujara. (TOI Photo)
CHENNAI: Cheteshwar Pujara has a zen-like approach to his batting. He doesn’t get rattled easily, hardly plays a rash shot and likes to apply himself at the crease. He says that all these character traits help him to do the most important job: scoring runs for India.
Such has been the India Test No. 3’s concentration levels and zeal to occupy the crease that it often leaves a bowler frustrated. To disturb Pujara’s focus, the bowler does tend to sledging at times. But Pujara says that he doesn’t step into the trap and hardly gives it back as it might affect his concentration.
“You do face sledging a bit when you start the innings. Once you are set, they don’t really try to bother you much and focus on getting you out. But when they fail to dismiss you and feel frustrated, they again start the verbal volleys. It is basically to disturb the batsman’s concentration. I don’t usually talk back but then there have been occasions when you feel that you need to give it back. However, I try to remain focused and calm because I know what my job is. See, sledging is a ploy to break your concentration and I feel that if I try to give it back to them, I might step into their trap. So I try to be in the zone,” Pujara said on Sony Ten Pitstop.
But how does he find the zone? “On a lot of occasions, it could be a good backfoot punch or a cover drive. Actually, you can find your rhythm even when you are defending. If the ball is hitting your middle of the bat while defending, it gives you a lot of confidence,” said Pujara.