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“Pujara’s defensive game has become more potent with his aggression” – Brad Hogg 



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Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg noted the changed approach of Cheteshwar Pujara with the bat. The batsman has employed more aggression to his play and Hogg believes that has improved his overall game in the process.

Pujara walked into the fourth Test at The Oval on the back of a confident innings in the previous match. He had scored 91 in Leeds in the second innings with a revamped approach and proceeded to apply it at The Oval as well, and the move paid off.

While he could not make a contribution in the first innings after being dismissed for just four runs, he came into the fray late on in the game with a crucial fifty in a 153-run partnership with Rohit Sharma. Pujara played with a strike rate touching fifty which has not usually been the case during his career. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Hogg said:

“Pujara, you need him in the team. But he’s playing a little more aggressively as well and with that aggressiveness, his defensive game has become more potent, more positive. The footwork has created in him being in better position and harder for England to bowl to him. Pujara’s authority and attacking nature has worked well,” Hogg said.

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Pujara has scored 227 runs in the tour so far at an average of 32.43. He came into the tour on the back of poor form and endured a terrible start to the series as well. But his knocks in each of the second innings at Lord’s, Leeds and The Oval have helped him get back into groove.

Pant is a big plus moving forward for India: Brad Hogg

Hogg also noted how Rishabh Pant embraced his defensive game during his partnership with Shardul Thakur in the second innings at the Oval. Rishabh Pant scored 50 off 106 deliveries and played with a strike rate below fifty to guide India to safety from a perilous position.

Hogg feels Pant has unlocked another dimension to his play. The former left-arm chinaman bowler added:

“The way that he (Pant) controlled himself, the defensive nature in that fifty that he made, shows that he can adapt his game to those pressure situations. We’ve seen the best of Pant when he’s attacking but now he’s starting to change that game of his and show there’s a different aspect to him. Pant is a big plus moving forward for India.”

India have recorded multiple Test wins in a series in England for the first time since 1986. With their win at The Oval, Virat Kohli also became the first captain to lead the Men in Blue to three wins in England.