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Pujara’s game is an extension of his stubborn personality: Ashwin

New Delhi : Veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was full of praise for teammate Cheteshwar Pujara saying the latter is one of the greatest at playing percentages against spin adding that “his game is just an extension of his stubborn personality.”

Pujara will join the elite list of Indian players who have played 100 Tests when India faces Australia in the second game of the four-match Border-Gavaskar series.

The 35-year-old has made his Test debut in 2010 against Australia. Interestingly, he will achieve the feat of playing 100 Tests against the same opponent.

“Puji is one of the greatest at playing percentages against spin. During all these years of knowing him, I have learnt that his game is just an extension of his personality. And his personality is stubborn. You just can’t win an argument with him. He never concedes a point,” Ashwin wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

The 36-year-old further recalled Pat Cummins’ spell in the 2018/19 series Down Under and said that Pujara’s stubbornness has broken down the best of bowling attacks with his defence.

“Pat Cummins bowls good ball after good ball, changing the angles, trying a bouncer, trying a sucker ball, but all he gets from Puji is the leave or the dead defence. Actually, I don’t recall thinking Puji had a great defence when I first saw him, but his stubbornness is such that he has broken down the best of the attacks with his defence,” Ashwin added.

Ashwin revealed that he used to call Pujara Mirugam, which means beast, as the middle order batter focuses on bating as the beast focuses on his prey.

“Most batters add to their game when they are successful or cut out some elements when they are failing, but Puji keeps trusting his method. You can’t convince him to change. I used to use a Tamil nickname for him with Shankar Basu, our previous trainer: Mirugam, the beast. Just like a beast focuses single-mindedly on its prey, Puji focuses on batting,” he said.

The second Test of the four-match series will start on February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. India won the first game in Nagpur, thrashing the visitors by an innings and 132 runs.

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