India coach Anil Kumble highlighted that strike rate is related to bowlers in the longer format of the game when Cheteshwar Pujara was criticised by former selector Sandeep Patil.
The coach stressed that he was satisfied with Pujara’s innings in West Indies despite him being dropped for the third Test by Rohit Sharma. The veteran jolted just 16 runs out of 67 on the slow pitches of Antigua. In the second Test, he got run out at 46 off 159 balls in Kingston before being left out of the squad for the third Test.
The 28-year-old was recalled for the fourth Test after India saw a top order collapse. While talking to journalists, Kumble insisted that with the advent of T20 cricket, players have seen a rise in strike rate. However, he emphasized that when he was playing the Tests, strike rates were referred to bowlers in the longer format instead of batsmen.
The former all-rounder stressed that the team requires players with different characteristics. He reflected in an interview, “I know there is a lot of strike rate in the last eight years after the advent of T20. As far as I was playing, in Test cricket strike rates were mostly talked about for bowlers and not for batsmen. That’s how I like to look at it. In a team, you need different characters, different quality players. Players whose skill sets are suited to different challenges that happen in a Test match.”
The coach also praised Pujara for his brilliant display of skills in the opening session of the series in the Caribbean Island when Murali Vijay was dismissed with a bouncer from Shannon Gabriel. Kumble insisted that Pujara kept the wicket and took India to lunch with one loss of wicket which is crucial in a Test match.
The 45-year-old started to media, “…Vijay got out cheaply and then he and Shikhar [Dhawan] had a good partnership till lunch. That was crucial for the team because we went into lunch losing only one wicket. And we all know the importance of the first session of a match that is the first Test of a series.”Kumble was surprised that this topic was coming out again and again. He expressed that someone needs to read and act according to the situation and Pujara knows how to do it.