'Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation'
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, on Wednesday, singled out 'Run Machine' Cheteshwar Pujara for his stellar show in India's historic maiden Test series win in Australia.
Tendulkar was also impressed with the style of play dished out by the Indian team, saying the brand of cricket produced by Virat Kohli and his men in the four-Test series
India registered its first-ever Test series triumph in Australia since the country's first visit way back in 1947-48, winning matches at Adelaide and Melbourne while losing at Perth before the rain-marred last Test at Sydney was drawn.
"Fantastic. The team has done really well. The brand of cricket that India has been able to produce Down Under has been magnificent," said Tendulkar here at the launch of 'Keep Moving' initiative by IDBI Federal Life Insurance in Mumbai.
Pujara scored 521 runs in the series with three centuries and one half century with 193 as his highest score and Tendulkar pin-pointed that Pujara was outstanding in the
"I find it difficult to pinpoint one moment, but I think Pujara has been really outstanding. The number of statements made on Pujara, which ideally weren't in his favour, kind of undermined (diminished) his contribution. Along with (Pujara), (we) cannot ignore the bowlers' contribution. The bowlers have (also) done exceedingly well."
"But somewhere Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation (standing) on which there were a number of guys who went out and got runs. Virat (Kohli) scored runs in the second Test. Ajinkya (Rahane) had that crucial partnership (in the series). Then Rishabh (Pant), (Ravindra) Jadeja - all these guys have done well. Mayank (Agarwal) got off to a good start."
"But (still) if I have to pin-point one guy then Pujara stands out along with the fast bowlers," said Tendulkar.
He also hoped that the Test series victory in Australia, the first ever in 71 years, would inspire the younger generation.
"I think results like these are really important. I still remember (that) when I was 10 years old, I didn't know much about cricket. But I knew that India had won the World Cup (in 1983) and that's where my journey started."
"Hopefully, there are many journeys which have started already. You need these kinds of results to inspire them and make them believe that you can go out and deliver your best and get laurels to our nation. That is exactly what the team has done Down Under," he emphasised.