R Sridhar hails Pujara's fighting knock in testing conditions
Kolkata, Nov 17 (Cricketnmore) For India fielding coach R. Sridhar, Pujara's unbeaten 47 off 102 balls in testing conditions against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens is one of the finest he has seen from the Test specialist.
"Pujara has got a grip of every condition when he goes in to bat. His gameplan was quite simple... play as close to your body and try to play straight. The standout feature was most of his runs went to the right of mid-off... he had a narrow V. It was probably one of the best 47 runs I have seen from Pujara," Sridhar told reporters here.
Pujara continued from his overnight score of eight runs to graft a special knock as other batsmen fell around him like nine pins on a green top.
The Saurashtra batsman, fresh from his double hundred in the Ranji Trophy against Jharkhand in Rajkot, where the conditions were completely different, favoured the off side hitting nine fours en route his 47.
What was impressive was how he cashed in on the half-volleys and left the ones which had extra bounce and was bowled outside the off-stump. The other two batters around him, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and bowling all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin were guilty of playing poor shots.
Sri Lanka head coach Nic Pothas pointed out that Pujara's stint with Nottinghamshire, where he could not muster many runs, helped him negotiate the 'English-like' conditions at the Eden.
"Pujara is a world class player. His innings shows the benefits of him playing county cricket. That is genuinely a wicket you would find in England during April-May and he certainly played in the conditions very well," Pothas opined.
Probed if not persisting with pacer Suranga Lakmal -- their best bowler with figures of 3/5 -- was a decision he regrets, Pothas said: "Cricket's one of those games where you can make the worst decision and it can be right and vice-versa. We are providing advice from the sidelines but we trust our senior players on the field and (Dinesh) Chandimal is the captain so we trust in the decisions he makes."
Much will depend on how Pujara bats along with wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (6 not out) on the third day as India look to recover.