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  1. #1
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    "Many of the current Indian batsmen have learnt from the mistakes of the past" : Cheteshwar Pujara

    Cheteshwar Pujara is expected to play an important part in the upcoming Test series between England and India. In an interview with Saj for Sky Sports, the 30-year-old Indian batsman discussed Afghanistan's inaugural Test , Virat Kohli's captaincy and how India can keep Jos Buttler quiet in their upcoming series with England.




    How do you feel your stint for Yorkshire has gone this season?

    CHETESHWAR PUJARA: I think it's been good and useful preparation for me ahead of the Test series later this year. I believe it's gone well, but I feel that I have not scored enough runs in red-ball cricket even though I felt I was batting quite well in that format. However, I think it's gone a lot better in white-ball cricket for me during this season.


    You've only played five one-day internationals for India during your career. Is that something you want to increase in the future?

    CP: I would love to do that. I've been working a lot on my shorter-format cricket and I feel I have a chance as I think I am a player who can play and do well in all formats.


    India are due to play Afghanistan in Afghanistan's inaugural Test match. What are your thoughts on the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan being given the opportunity to play Test cricket?

    CP: I think it's really important that nations such as Ireland and Afghanistan are given the opportunity to play Test cricket. Afghanistan have already proved and showed to the world that they are a very good white-ball team. When it comes to ODIs and T20Is, Afghanistan have been playing some good cricket and I'm looking forward to seeing them given the chance to play Test cricket.




    For Test cricket to survive I think more nations need to be given the opportunity play in this format. Test cricket needs to be popular around the globe and not just in a select few countries.


    Pakistan recently managed an excellent win at Lord's against England. Do you think that win for Pakistan gives India some hope for later in the summer?

    CP: I didn't see too much of the match and just checked the scorecard but from an Indian perspective you always have to believe in yourself. Being honest, the last time we played Tests in England back in 2014 we did not play well at all.

    But, we don't look at the other teams, rather we concentrate on playing to our potential and I can confidently say that we have a good bowling line-up and I feel that bowling in the Test series against England will be crucial. When it comes to our batting, we have improved a lot and we did well in South Africa, so we are very hopeful that we will do well in England this time around.


    Throughout the years India has always produced great batsmen, but in the modern era, a number of very good pace bowlers are coming out of India, why do you think that is?

    CP: I think the Indian Premier League has to be given credit for this. The IPL is producing a lot of very good pace bowlers. Apart from the IPL, I think there are a lot of young cricketers in India who want to be fast bowlers and perhaps that wasn't the case in the past.




    These boys are working very hard and focusing on pace bowling from a young age and nowadays there are a lot of opportunities in India for young, fast bowlers, whereas in the past it was all about spinners.These days India goes on overseas tours with a very strong pace-bowling group and credit must be given to the BCCI for this because they have focused on building a group of good quality fast-bowlers to serve India around the world.


    Speaking of the Indian Premier League, Jos Buttler was one of the stars of the tournament. You must be concerned about his form ahead of the Test series later this year?

    CP: Yes, hopefully we can get him out early. I think the key is to get him out into the middle as early as possible where he has to face a newish ball. No doubt he's a good player but we have to aim to get him out there in the middle when the ball is quite new and hard.

    He obviously bats at number 6 or 7, but if we can get him facing our bowlers by the 30th over then I think we can build some pressure on him. I've seen the way he bats in white-ball cricket around the world and he's a fantastic player, so we will have to be on top of our game when he's at the crease.




    James Anderson and Stuart Broad faced criticism after the Lord's Test match against Pakistan. Were you surprised at the levels of criticism they received?

    CP: I was very surprised because both of them have been doing really well for their country for such a long period of time and have been so consistent. They are great bowlers and every bowler goes through a tough time or has a bad match or two, but I believe they deserve to be recognised as top bowlers who have been at the top of their profession for so many years.


    What will the plans be from an Indian perspective against the likes of Anderson and Broad?

    CP: I think that many of the current Indian batsmen have learnt from the mistakes of the past. We have the experience now as most of the squad will have been a part of the 2014 Test squad in England, so most of our batsmen will have played Test cricket in England previously, and that is really important.

    I think if you have previous experience of overseas conditions in any country and you are going back there, then you will have a good idea of what works and what doesn't in those conditions. I believe that our previous experience of English conditions will be extremely vital this time around.


    Do you think India have a good chance of defeating England in the Test series?

    CP: I believe that we have a very good opportunity but you have to take it one match at a time. A lot can happen in a five-Test series and I think that it's best that as a team you focus on one match at a time rather than thinking about the entire series and what the outcome may be. Another thing that is vital is the preparation. It's important that we prepare well and then execute our plans. If we do that, then I think we have a very good chance of beating England.


    What is it like to have Virat Kohli in the dressing room?

    CP: He's very talkative, very passionate about cricket and he keeps the atmosphere going. The Indian team's dressing room nowadays is quite relaxed but there are also many young players who keep the atmosphere quite lively. The good thing is that all of the players enjoy each other's company on and off the field.


    What are your thoughts on Kohli as a captain?

    CP: So far the experience has been good. Even when MS Dhoni was leading the team, the atmosphere in the dressing room and out there in the middle was good. I've always enjoyed my cricket under the leadership of both Kohli and Dhoni. They are different characters, but I've really found it very motivating and satisfying to play under both captains.




    What are your thoughts on the introduction of four-day Test matches?

    CP: I would prefer to play five-day Test matches as I don't feel four days for a Test match is enough. We've been playing this format as five days for such a long time and I would like it to continue as five days, rather than it changing to four.


    Finally, an India versus Pakistan Test match at Lord's in front of a packed house - does that sound appealing to you?

    CP: Yes, that would be nice but that is something that I cannot really control or is in my hands. It's up to the Government to decide on such things and as cricketers we follow their guidelines. But if it was to happen, then I'd be ready for Pakistan. If it doesn't happen, then so be it, that's not my call.

    http://www.skysports.com/cricket/new...nd-jos-buttler
    Last edited by MenInG; 12th June 2018 at 13:31.


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  2. #2
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    Good interview.

    Pujara is the finest batsman in the Indian lineup.

  3. #3
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    Good fella. Hope he scores some runs in Eng.

  4. #4
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    Best Indian test batsman currently. Clutch and a match and series winner. Whenever Pujara has scored clutch runs, India have won difficult series.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  5. #5
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    He is leagues below Kohli. People should stop repeating themselves.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    He is leagues below Kohli. People should stop repeating themselves.
    I remember an interview in 2013 where Steyn rated Pujara higher than Kohli.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    I remember an interview in 2013 where Steyn rated Pujara higher than Kohli.
    Pujara might be tougher to dismiss, but he is nothing more than a superior version of Azhar Ali, because of the fact that he is much better against spin.

    His technique is overrated as well. His low back-lift makes him a bunny against bounce, and he rarely survives a testing spell of fast bowling. The tours of Australia and the recent South African tour exhibited the difference in class between the two players.

    Kohli might surpass Tendulkar, while Pujara will remain a poor man's Dravid. He cannot impose himself on the opposition and scores far too slowly to have any influence on the game. The opposition doesn't view him as a threat, and his wicket is nowhere near as prized as Kohli's.

    Those who are calling him India's best Test batsman - how many teams in the world would have Pujara over Kohli in their teams? Alternatively, how many teams would prefer to take his wicket over Kohli's?

    I think that pretty much sums it up. Pujara is a very good player, but Kohli is an all-time great. There is no comparison - it is not 2013 anymore. Kohli has left him in his dust in the last five years.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Pujara might be tougher to dismiss, but he is nothing more than a superior version of Azhar Ali, because of the fact that he is much better against spin.

    His technique is overrated as well. His low back-lift makes him a bunny against bounce, and he rarely survives a testing spell of fast bowling. The tours of Australia and the recent South African tour exhibited the difference in class between the two players.

    Kohli might surpass Tendulkar, while Pujara will remain a poor man's Dravid. He cannot impose himself on the opposition and scores far too slowly to have any influence on the game. The opposition doesn't view him as a threat, and his wicket is nowhere near as prized as Kohli's.

    Those who are calling him India's best Test batsman - how many teams in the world would have Pujara over Kohli in their teams? Alternatively, how many teams would prefer to take his wicket over Kohli's?

    I think that pretty much sums it up. Pujara is a very good player, but Kohli is an all-time great. There is no comparison - it is not 2013 anymore. Kohli has left him in his dust in the last five years.
    Back in 2013, Pujara was something else. He regressed massively after that. Everyone rated him very highly back those days. In contrast, Kohli wasn't that established enough in test cricket.

    Now obviously no one would rate Pujara higher or even close to Kohli in even Pujara's best format as well. Even Rahane has regressed as well while many touted him as the next Dravid.
    Last edited by Ab Fan; 12th June 2018 at 19:37.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ab Fan View Post
    Back in 2013, Pujara was something else. He regressed massively after that. Everyone rated him very highly back those days. In contrast, Kohli wasn't that established enough in test cricket.

    Now obviously no one would rate Pujara higher or even close to Kohli in even Pujara's best format as well. Even Rahane has regressed as well while many touted him as the next Dravid.
    I don't think he has regressed; he has been exposed for his inability to play outside Asia. He is still a terrific batsman at home, but he was expected to be an all-round batsman back in 2013. However, apart from that one innings in South Africa, he has consistently failed outside Asia, and is nowhere near Kohli.

  10. #10
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    Biggest HTB.

  11. #11
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    He is close to a recluse by nature. Difficult to find such individuals. Hopefully he does well.

  12. #12
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    Good only for flat pitches. One of the most overrated player, with an ordinary technique. The only similarity between him and Dravid is their strike rate. He doesn't have the technique, tenacity or skills of Dravid, he only has Dravid's weaknesses and not his strengths. Because of those weakness, he was compared to Dravid.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaankeJi View Post
    He is close to a recluse by nature. Difficult to find such individuals. Hopefully he does well.
    Don't think so. He is all over the social media all the time.

  14. #14
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    Hasn’t he got an average of 12 in county season? Witt kohli not able to practise and Pujara averaging 12 our chances looks pretty bleak.. Would be a golden opportunity lost if we can’t win 3/4-0..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by happydavy View Post
    Good only for flat pitches. One of the most overrated player, with an ordinary technique.
    He is not overrated with a Test average of 50+. One of the main reasons for India's current #1 Test ranking.

  16. #16
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    Pujara will give his right arm to have Azhar Ali over seas record of past two years in reality Pujara is a poor mans Azhar Ali

  17. #17
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    Indian Azhar Ali, it's Kohli or bust for India as the others can't be counted on

  18. #18
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    Big series for him. Needs to show he can score outside of Asia.

  19. #19
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    Che needs to give up his dream of returning to ODi side. Just win us away tests man.

    He is different player what he was in last tour. His runs in LOI, will change his mind-set. Needs to put down thoughts of not scoring well in longer county games. You survive 60 balls in England, you can score 150+.


    3WCs, #1 Test #1 ODI team, Fab 9: Sachin, Dravid, Saurav, Kumble, VVS, Viru, Zak, MSD, Yuvi

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napa View Post
    He is not overrated with a Test average of 50+. One of the main reasons for India's current #1 Test ranking.
    He is overrated by those who think he is Indiaís best Test batsman.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xoib View Post
    Pujara will give his right arm to have Azhar Ali over seas record of past two years in reality Pujara is a poor mans Azhar Ali
    This is very true. If Azhar is low impact, Pujara has been no impact away from subcontinent.

  22. #22
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    I don't think anyone has learnt any lesson. Result will be there for everyone to see.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    He is overrated by those who think he is India’s best Test batsman.
    Kohli definitely has outperformed him the past few years, it is no contest between the two. However he gets another chance at redemption abroad with the upcoming England tour. The fact that he played county cricket to get ready shows that he is making an effort and is serious about doing well. Let's see how it goes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaankeJi View Post
    I don't think anyone has learnt any lesson. Result will be there for everyone to see.
    Well. They seem to have learnt to handle the media which is good. See Saj’s question about the Lords game and how CP turned it into purely about India!

  25. #25
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    Just like Pakistan has invested a lot in Azhar and Shafiq, India have also done the same with Pujara and Rahane. None of them are consistent and reliable. Rahane was good last time he went to England but he also is very inconsistent.

    Pujara should first start contributing for India abroad then give statements like these. If he doesn't perform this time as well he should retire from any cricket played outside India. He was supposed to be our next Dravid but he isn't fit to tie his shoe laces when it comes to playing abroad.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bala977 View Post
    Well. They seem to have learnt to handle the media which is good. See Saj¬’s question about the Lords game and how CP turned it into purely about India!
    Unlike Ashwin who has been very good in praising good players, this was not the answer I expected. Don't think it shows any great handling of media.


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  27. #27
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    He is like Mahela except that Mahela was a good limited over player as well.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Unlike Ashwin who has been very good in praising good players, this was not the answer I expected. Don't think it shows any great handling of media.
    Exactly what I thought. He should have praised the good performance of Pakistan in Lord's. I am sure Ashwin or Kohli would have done exactly that, that was lack of grace on Pujara's part.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
    Exactly what I thought. He should have praised the good performance of Pakistan in Lord's. I am sure Ashwin or Kohli would have done exactly that, that was lack of grace on Pujara's part.
    Where does the grace or the lack of it part comes here

    didn't see too much of the match and just checked the scorecard but from an Indian perspective you always have to believe in yourself. Being honest, the last time we played Tests in England back in 2014 we did not play well at all.

    But, we don't look at the other teams, rather we concentrate on playing to our potential and I can confidently say that we have a good bowling line-up and I feel that bowling in the Test series against England will be crucial. When it comes to our batting, we have improved a lot and we did well in South Africa, so we are very hopeful that we will do well in England this time around.

    He clearly said that his focus is not what other do his focus is on what him and his team does, saz asked question regarding pressure on India as pak performed well in England, he simply replied about his and his team's focus.
    Last edited by Kroll; 17th June 2018 at 18:34.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Pujara might be tougher to dismiss, but he is nothing more than a superior version of Azhar Ali, because of the fact that he is much better against spin.

    His technique is overrated as well. His low back-lift makes him a bunny against bounce, and he rarely survives a testing spell of fast bowling. The tours of Australia and the recent South African tour exhibited the difference in class between the two players.

    Kohli might surpass Tendulkar, while Pujara will remain a poor man's Dravid. He cannot impose himself on the opposition and scores far too slowly to have any influence on the game. The opposition doesn't view him as a threat, and his wicket is nowhere near as prized as Kohli's.

    Those who are calling him India's best Test batsman - how many teams in the world would have Pujara over Kohli in their teams? Alternatively, how many teams would prefer to take his wicket over Kohli's?

    I think that pretty much sums it up. Pujara is a very good player, but Kohli is an all-time great. There is no comparison - it is not 2013 anymore. Kohli has left him in his dust in the last five years.
    Pujara is superior because if I am not wrong he hasn't got a century outside SC. Azhar is rubbish because he's Pakistani and pujara is very good because he's an Indian.
    Last edited by Kroll; 17th June 2018 at 18:35.

  31. #31
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    Pooj couldn't even score as much runs as Ishant in his recent county stint, and he averaged 16 over 6 six innings in SA earlier this year. Yes, his 50 in that third test was crucial for the win, but in the other 5 innings his aggregate for 50 runs.

    Should he be in the XI in England with that in mind?

    I think that India carrying two local Gods [Pooj and Dhawan] who don't travel well in England could be disastrous.
    Last edited by Lefthanded; 17th June 2018 at 20:29.

  32. #32
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    there seems to be a misplaced bit of aggro when asked question about playing Pakistan. There are ways to answer that question without sounding defensive.
    Anyhow, thats still better than how any Pakistani player would handle such questions.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefthanded View Post
    Pooj couldn't even score as much runs as Ishant in his recent county stint, and he averaged 16 over 6 six innings in SA earlier this year. Yes, his 50 in that third test was crucial for the win, but in the other 5 innings his aggregate for 50 runs.

    Should he be in the XI in England with that in mind?

    I think that India carrying two local Gods [Pooj and Dhawan] who don't travel well in England could be disastrous.
    I wonder if the county would have him back considering such meager returns.

  34. #34
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    Azhar has a better test record in England than pretty much any other Indian player. People dragging his name through the dirt by saying he is poor compared to Pujara really need to think hard before they say such things.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AssassinatedDevil View Post
    Azhar has a better test record in England than pretty much any other Indian player. People dragging his name through the dirt by saying he is poor compared to Pujara really need to think hard before they say such things.
    Azhars crime is that he's pakistani I am sure if he was Indian he would say the total opposite.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AssassinatedDevil View Post
    Azhar has a better test record in England than pretty much any other Indian player. People dragging his name through the dirt by saying he is poor compared to Pujara really need to think hard before they say such things.
    Azhar has a better record in England than the likes of Sachin and Dravid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AssassinatedDevil View Post
    Azhar has a better test record in England than pretty much any other Indian player. People dragging his name through the dirt by saying he is poor compared to Pujara really need to think hard before they say such things.
    How? Literally how? Azhar Ali had a good 2016 series in England which was his second in England but Azhar's overall record in England is nothing to brag about.

    Azhar Ali in 10 Tests and 20 innings in England has scored 514 runs at 28.55

    I am not even bringing up the past Indian greats as it will be an insult to them. In the current team,

    Rahane:

    5 Tests 10 innings 299 runs at 33.22

    M Vijay

    5 Matches 10 innings 402 runs at 40.20

    Bhuvneshwar Kumar

    5 Matches 10 innings 247 runs at 27.44

    Ashwin

    2 matches 4 innings 106 runs at 35.33


    Bhuvi averages close to Azhar and had a brilliant series with the bat and ball last time. All the Indian players in that series baring Dhoni hadn't played in England before. Vijay had a brilliant series and scored 400 runs. Not sure how you came up with that statement. Considering how badly MS Dhoni is criticised as a batsman especially in overseas condition, look at his performance in England:

    12 matches 23 innings 778 runs at an average of 37.04 with 8 fifties.

    Agree that Pujara and Kohli were big failures in 2014, but again Azhar barring 2016 has been a failure in England as well.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rahul1 View Post
    Azhar has a better record in England than the likes of Sachin and Dravid?
    I meant compared to Indian players that toured around 2014 (kohli, pujara, sharma etc.) Didn't mean to compare him to players like Sachin and Dravid. Azhar's knocks came under pressure and were vital in drawing the 2 series in 2016 and 2018.
    Last edited by AssassinatedDevil; 18th June 2018 at 05:51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Rose View Post
    I wonder if the county would have him back considering such meager returns.
    Me too. I think that even though he's done well for Yorkshire before, it may depend on how he does for India in England this summer.

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    India will be exposed if they bat first.

    If it is a green pitch, India should bowl first to have a chance. BK can run through England's lineup.

    If India bats first on a green top, they will be bundled out for under 150.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AssassinatedDevil View Post
    I meant compared to Indian players that toured around 2014 (kohli, pujara, sharma etc.) Didn't mean to compare him to players like Sachin and Dravid. Azhar's knocks came under pressure and were vital in drawing the 2 series in 2016 and 2018.
    Again wrong, see below

    The first Test Pakistan won, Azhar scored 30 runs in total (Both innings combined)
    Second Test - Total of 9 runs (Pakistan Lost)
    Third Test - Azhar Scores 177 runs including a 100, Pakistan lose by 141 Runs
    Fourth Test - Azhar scores 49 in the first innings and remains 30 no in the second.

    So yes it is a myth that the guy contributed to anything in that series. The first Test was won due to contributions from Asad and Misbah. The Fourth Test was won by contribution from Asad again who scored a 100 and Younis Khan who scored a brilliant double. Asad Shafiq should be credited for his performance in both the winning Tests and not Azhar.

    So the only Test he contributed resulted in a loss for Pakistan. Not sure how you are coming up with these statements. On the contrary, Murali Vijay's 100 in the first Test and 95 in the second resulted in a win and a draw for India in the first two Tests. He ended up scoring 400 runs in that series at an average of 40. Rahane's only hundred in that series helped India win the Lord's Test.

    As far as Azhar's contribution in 2018 goes, he averaged 16.75 in that series. Not sure how he has better record than anyone at this point.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Best Indian test batsman currently. Clutch and a match and series winner. Whenever Pujara has scored clutch runs, India have won difficult series.
    In other words FTB

    I canít recall a single inning he played outside Asia. He is basically poor manís Rahane

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Best Indian test batsman currently. Clutch and a match and series winner. Whenever Pujara has scored clutch runs, India have won difficult series.
    Poor mans Azhar ali he is nothing more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giri26 View Post
    Again wrong, see below

    The first Test Pakistan won, Azhar scored 30 runs in total (Both innings combined)
    Second Test - Total of 9 runs (Pakistan Lost)
    Third Test - Azhar Scores 177 runs including a 100, Pakistan lose by 141 Runs
    Fourth Test - Azhar scores 49 in the first innings and remains 30 no in the second.

    So yes it is a myth that the guy contributed to anything in that series. The first Test was won due to contributions from Asad and Misbah. The Fourth Test was won by contribution from Asad again who scored a 100 and Younis Khan who scored a brilliant double. Asad Shafiq should be credited for his performance in both the winning Tests and not Azhar.

    So the only Test he contributed resulted in a loss for Pakistan. Not sure how you are coming up with these statements. On the contrary, Murali Vijay's 100 in the first Test and 95 in the second resulted in a win and a draw for India in the first two Tests. He ended up scoring 400 runs in that series at an average of 40. Rahane's only hundred in that series helped India win the Lord's Test.

    As far as Azhar's contribution in 2018 goes, he averaged 16.75 in that series. Not sure how he has better record than anyone at this point.
    Terrific post!! Debunking the myths one by one
    Potw nominee?

  45. #45
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    New day same score for Pujara. Clean bowled to Steyn for a grand duck, that makes his Yorkshire first class stint of this year with some 100 runs in 9/10 innings I guess.

    If only pujara could bat with the same confidence and arrogance that he talks with. Always talking about himself and how he thinks he performs in difficult conditions when the truth is that he can't perform outside Asia.

    Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq over him anyday.

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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boi View Post

    Elegantly bowled. It's beyond me how he's got a country deal. Steyn got him out the other too in list a game.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boi View Post

    Mediocre player at best

    Should be kicked out for away tours. He is basically tailender

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianG00se View Post
    Mediocre player at best

    Should be kicked out for away tours. He is basically tailender
    Do we have any replacement in Ranji's? Should replace him with some of the good performers in the A team.

  50. #50
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    There are million and one replacements for batsmen in India. Pujara should be played only on SC pitches. Waste of space on away tours

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingolfy View Post
    Do we have any replacement in Ranji's? Should replace him with some of the good performers in the A team.
    Quote Originally Posted by pratiktc View Post
    There are million and one replacements for batsmen in India. Pujara should be played only on SC pitches. Waste of space on away tours
    India is the best place for young batsman.

  52. #52
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    Very important test series for Che. Fans are losing patience now.


    3WCs, #1 Test #1 ODI team, Fab 9: Sachin, Dravid, Saurav, Kumble, VVS, Viru, Zak, MSD, Yuvi

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingolfy View Post
    Do we have any replacement in Ranji's? Should replace him with some of the good performers in the A team.
    Maybe we should blood in either P Shaw or S Gill. Im sure they can’t be any worse than him

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