After India suffered a seven-wicket defeat against South Africa in the Johannesburg Test, Sunil Gavaskar has stated that Cheteshwar Pujara reminds him of former Proteas batsman Hashim Amla. Gavaskar further added that players with Pujara's temperament are a great blessing to the dressing room.
Team India conceded a harrowing seven-wicket defeat against South Africa in the second Test of the three-match series in Johannesburg. The Indian bowlers were outplayed by the South Africa batsmen in the second innings as they easily chased the target of 240 runs, and finished the match on Day 4. The Proteas captain Dean Elgar, played a brilliant knock under pressure, and remained unbeaten on 96 to help his side win the match and level the series 1-1.
Despite losing the match, the half-centuries from senior batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara (53) and Ajinkya Rahane (58) in the second innings will increase Team India's confidence while heading to the series decider in Cape Town. Pujara and Rahane stitched up a 111-run partnership for the third wicket, and helped India from an early collapse. Pujara, who was widely criticized for his poor form in Test cricket, smashed 10 boundaries during his 86-ball stay at the crease.
"When I look at him, he reminds me of Hashim. Watching Hashim bat, you know there's a sense of calm that everything is under control. The ball could be doing things but there was that sense because even on pitches where the ball was turning, the way Hashim was batting in India, it was almost as if, 'look, nothing's happening', and that's the same thing with Cheteshwar Pujara," said Gavaskar on SuperSport.
Gavaskar further reckoned that players with Pujara's temperament are absolutely terrific for the dressing room.
“It is a great, great blessing to have players of this temperament in your dressing room. (It may not be) necessarily just on the field but it's a huge plus and I think having somebody with Cheteshwar Puajra's temperament in the changing room must be absolutely terrific because in international cricket, there are several moments of tension where people would want to do this or that or the other. When you have somebody who's going to think about it calmly and give you a measured opinion it makes a big difference,” said Gavaskar.
The third Test of the three-match series will begin on January 11 in Cape Town.