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“There was clarity in Pujara’s batting” – Salman Butt impressed with Indian batter’s positive attitude



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Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has stated that clarity was clearly evident in Cheteshwar Pujara’s batting on Day 3 of the Headingley Test. Butt felt Pujara was ready to be positive for a change and the mindset worked wonders for him.

With his place in the playing XI under the scanner, Pujara hit a defiant 91* of 180 balls on Friday, an innings which featured 15 fours.

Speaking about Pujara’s knock, Butt pointed out that he definitely walked in with an intent to score runs. The former Pakistan skipper opined:

“There was clarity in Pujara’s batting on Day 3. When he first came in to bat, he got quite a few balls on leg. Out of his first few boundaries, three were on the leg side, which he flicked towards square leg and midwicket. So, Pujara took advantage of the loose balls that he got early in his innings. His strike rotation was also impressive.”

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Butt added that with two more Tests coming up, Pujara’s return to form is not great news for England. He further said:

“Pujara’s outright attitude was positive and mindset was clear. He wanted to play his shots. As a result, he scored runs and got his confidence back as well. Pujara shifted the pressure back to the England bowlers. If he goes on to score a big hundred, then England could be in a bit of trouble. Also, Pujara’s return to form is great news for India with two more Tests coming up.”

Pujara, Kohli need to survive 20 overs against new ball: Salman Butt

After Rohit Sharma’s dismissal for 59, Pujara and Indian captain Virat Kohli (45*) featured in an unbeaten 99-run stand for the third wicket. While their partnership was impressive, Butt felt that the duo will need to survive at least 20 overs against the new ball on Day 4. He opined:

“The first two hours on Day 4 will be extremely crucial. If Pujara and Virat Kohli can survive 20 overs against new ball, things will get easier for them. They (Pujara-Kohli) need to try and bat at least till lunch. Also, India will need to be careful against Mooen Ali because lot of rough has developed, especially for the right-handers outside the off stump. Off spinners will be effective. Even Joe Root got one to turn sharply.

Butt concluded:

“If India manage to score 70 runs in the first session and lose not more than one wicket, they will stay in the game. It won’t be easy and a lot will depend on how they start.”

India ended Day 3 of the Headingley Test at 215 for 2, still trailing England by 139 runs.