Pujara a batsman for every condition, says Sridhar

India’s fielding coach lauded Cheteshwar Pujara’s batsmanship after the second day’s play at Eden Gardens on Friday.

Cheteshwar Pujara "is a batsman for every condition. He plays straight, drives to the right of mid-off.”   -  K. R. Deepak

Indian’s fielding coach R. Sridhar lauded Cheteshwar Pujara’s batsmanship after the second day’s play here on Friday. He said, “Pujara is a batsman for every condition. He plays straight, drives to the right of mid-off.”

Given the nature of the pitch here, Sridhar said a lot could happen over the remaining three days if the skies cleared up.

Read: Pujara holds fort

Situations such as these brought a team closer, he noted. “The team spends a lot of time in the dressing room waiting for the play to resume. In adverse situations, it gets the team together.”

Talking on fitness tests (Yo Yo) for the Indian team, he observed, “We want to get 11 fittest guys in the team whom we can convert into 11 great fielders. There are parameters in place.”

‘Fabulous fielder’

Asked about Suresh Raina, Sridhar said, “He is a fabulous fielder. Once he clears the fitness parameters, he could be part of the whole process.” Sridhar said, “The formula in fielding is simple. The more you practice, the better you get. Unlike batting or bowling, fielding is very controllable.”

Read: Rain prevents fans from flocking to the iconic Eden Gardens

Sridhar said India’s major Test campaigns over the next 15 to 20 months would all be away from the sub-continent. Under the circumstances, slip catching assumed significance. He said, “I always feel slip catching in the sub-continent where the wickets are two-paced and the carry is lesser is harder. Away from the sub-continent, there is more bounce and carry on the pitch and the ball comes at a good height to catch. However, in England the ball can wobble.”

Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said the conditions here were similar to those in England during April and May. Talking about Pujara, he said, “He is a world-class player. That innings shows the benefit of him playing county cricket. He played the conditions well.”

‘Intelligent bowler’

Commenting on Suranga Lakmal, Pothas said, “He is a very intelligent bowler. He knows how to control his workload, does research. He is very astute and knows when he is prepared. That’s the mark of any international bowler. He has improved immeasurably. If you are playing international cricket, you have to always improve as others are improving.”

Pothas was not willing to make predictions, both about the weather and the Test. He said, “I don’t trust the forecast. No. 2, we just rely on our processes. It is not rocket science. We go back and hit our lengths right. Hopefully things will go our way. So far we are pleased how things have gone for us. It will be very challenging batting conditions. You have got to still go out there and do the job.”

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