Ravi Shastri's Epic Analogy Featuring Luna and Harley Davidson Which Forced Cheteshwar Pujara To Accelerate
Last Updated: February 04, 2023, 11:34 IST
Ravi Shastri and Cheteshwar Pujara.
In the second innings, as India looked to swell their lead, Pujara crawled to 8 runs off 61 balls. That was when Shatri sent a fielder who told Pujara this verbatim: ‘Stop riding a Luna and get on a Harley-Davidson’.
India middle order batter Cheteshwar Pujara is perhaps the most old-school cricketer not in India but the world. His ability to hunker down and play for hours had created a cult following among young Indian cricket fans over the years. However, this approach has been frowned upon occasionally and in one such instance, it was the head coach Ravi Shastri who had to use a popular two wheeler analogy to wake him up from his slumber.
In his new book, ‘Coaching Beyond,’ R Sridhar wrote how during Vizag Test in 2019 against South Africa, Pujara had parked the bus and left the team management frustrated. This included Shatri and skipper Virat Kohli himself.
“Virat and Ravi wanted Pujara to score faster and the reason was because they were sure he had the skill set to do it. It was a question of convincing him that he could do so at international level. If he needed bollocking occasionally, Ravi was happy to oblige, like in Visakhapatnam in October 2019,” Sridhar wrote in his book ‘Coaching Beyond’.
The match Sridhar is referring to is the first Test match between the two countries in October 2019. Rohit Sharma had opened in this game for the first time and India had piled a brilliant 502/7 declared in the first innings.
Meanwhile, South Africa had conceded a lead of 71 runs. In the second innings, as India looked to swell their lead, Pujara crawled to 8 runs off 61 balls. That was when Shatri sent a fielder who told Pujara this verbatim: ‘Stop riding a Luna and get on a Harley-Davidson’.
“We were looking for quick runs in the second innings so that we could stick South Africa back in. Rohit Sharma, who had got a 100 in the first innings, was again flowing, but Pujara got stuck. At one stage he was 8 off 61 deliveries when Ravi decided he had seen enough. So he called one of the substitute fielder and instructed him to repeat his message to Pujara verbatim, ‘Stop riding a Luna and get on a Harley-Davidson’. There was a passage of play just after that where Pujara actually outscored Rohit. He had the capacity; it was important to ensure his thoughts were always aligned to that of the team and to make him realise that he had the tools to do so,” added Sridhar.
No surprises that Pujara woke up from the deep slumber and went onto score 75 off the next 87 balls finishing with 81 off 148 balls. He and Rohit added 190 runs for the second wicket as India declared on 323/4 and eventually sealed the match by 203 runs.
Get the latest Cricket News here