No serious technical concerns with Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of England Tests: Yorkshire director

Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket and a former Test batsman, does not feel that a struggling Cheteshwar Pujara has significant technical difficulties to iron out as the India vs England Test series gets underway next week.

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With questions being asked about his current batting abilities after a lean run in county cricket for Yorkshire – he averaged 14.33 in six four-day matches – and a poor Test average in England (22.20), Pujara did himself no favours by making 1 and 23 during India’s three-day tour match with Essex. Speaking to The Indian Express, Moxon reckoned that there were was nothing to really worry about regarding Pujara’s approach to batting in England.

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No, there’s nothing in particular from the technique point of view. His alignment and balance were fine this time. He worked extremely hard on his game,” said Moxon, who played 10 Tests and eight ODIs in the 1980s. “He was the model professional in that respect. He just didn’t get going. There were times when you thought, this is the day he’s going to go and make a big one. But then he found a way of getting himself out. He’s as frustrated as we were, but there wasn’t anything technical to be bothered about.”

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In an interview to The Cricket Monthly recently, Pujara said that a couple of his dismissals during his Yorkshire stint were unlucky ones, which Moxon also raised while highlighting that the surfaces at that time were more bowler-friendly.

“At the start of the year, he had a couple of poor lbw decisions and ran himself out as well. That didn’t help him with his rhythm getting into the season. There was so much rain in the early part of the season when he played. The pitches were very seamer-friendly, so it was not easy for anybody to bat long to be honest. There’s a bit of reasoning behind him not scoring the runs. The pitches were a little bit tricky,” he said.

Of Pujara’s 12 dismissals in county cricket this summer, Pujara were bowled or lbw eight times – harking back to a familiar weakness against in-coming deliveries. On this matter, Moxon said: “It was just the moving ball. You look at the scores around the country in that period, there weren’t many batsmen scoring a lot of runs. Since, Pujara played Championship cricket for us, we’ve had a heatwave. There may be less sideways movement during the Test series than what he encountered in county cricket this year.”

The first Test between India and England starts August 1 at Edgbaston.