Pujara's innings was mix of caution and aggression, says Bangar

Pujara, who scored his first hundred in England on the second day of the fourth Test, was dropped for the first Test at Edgbaston due to poor form.

Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten knock of 132 gave India a narrow 27-run lead.   -  AP

Sanjay Bangar admitted on Friday that Cheteshwar Pujara had technical issues to correct when he arrived for the start of India's Test series with England. Pujara, who scored his first hundred in England on the second day of the fourth Test, had been going through a bit of a drought with the bat and was dropped for the first Test at Edgbaston.

“He was coming off a rough patch and also hadn't really scored as many runs as he'd have liked in the last 10-11 innings for India,” India's batting coach said at the Ageas Bowl.

Read: Ton-up Pujara gives India edge with slender lead

“He was struggling a bit when he joined the team but you cannot really make decisions based on how one does in the first-class format because he's a proven international player. Obviously, certain areas had to be worked on. He had to get his balance and footwork right. Those were the two areas we worked on as a support-staff group, Ravi (Shastri) and myself. It's heartening that the work that he put in was duly rewarded.”

Bangar hailed Pujara's unbeaten 132. “He showed a lot of composure, clarity of thought and great discipline in his judgement outside off. You saw a great mix of caution and aggression in his innings. He also showed another facet of his batsmanship, a glimpse of what he could do when he was batting with the tail,” he said.

Pujara doing fine after helmet knocks

Cheteshwar Pujara was struck twice on the helmet on Friday but he is believed to be doing fine. The bouncer from Stokes left Pujara with a lump on his forehead and he was attended to by the physiotherapist Patrick Farhart on the field. He continued batting, and later came out to field during England's second innings.

"He showed no signs whatsoever of a concussion when he was assessed on the field and also during the break," said a statement from the Indian team. "Hence he was not treated for concussion. He will be looked at again tonight and also tomorrow."

Bangar added: “Talent can not only be seen in class, but also in bloodymindedness. He showed mental strength, patience and the concentration today. If you have all those characteristics then even if you have some limitations in terms of scoring areas or not possessing all the strokes, you can become an effective Test player. That is what he showed.”

Bangar was displeased, however, with the nature of some of India's dismissals, as the visitor lost four for 15 — a collapse inspired by Moeen Ali. “We thought two dismissals were pretty soft. Hardik really wasn't on top of the ball while driving and Ashwin attempted that reverse sweep at a pretty early stage in his innings. If he was set and batting with the tail, one could have thought that shot was on. But at that point in time, when Pujara was going so well, maybe they could have done things differently,” he said.

Rishabh Pant was dismissed for a 29-ball duck but Bangar stated that there had been no instructions to him to bat differently.

“We encourage batters to bat in their individual style and make their own choices,” he said. “But [he got out] on the stroke of tea. Yes he didn't really get too many 'score-able' deliveries, but had he stayed on, India could have been in a better position.”

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