ENG vs IND | Pujara must be mindful of his lean patch, No.3 slot crucial for the team, states VVS Laxman

Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has stated that the No.3 slot is a very important position for any team, and Cheteshwar Pujara will also be mindful of his lean patch. He also added that India’s former No.3 Rahul Dravid was crucial to their victories on both 2002 and 2007 tours of England.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been going through an extended lean spell and was one of India’s major disappointments in the inaugural World Test Championship cycle. Even in the WTC final, he came up with disappointing scores and continued with his poor run in the warm-up fixture against County XI. His conservative approach isn’t considered the best, especially in swinging conditions of England where the Dukes keep the pacers in play for long hours, and there’s not much value for facing many deliveries sans runs.

Ahead of the five-match Test series against England, there are whispers that the Indian No.3 might find it difficult to start in the first Test. His poor run has also coincided with KL Rahul’s good run. Talking about Pujara, former Indian middle-order batsman VVS Laxman said that the no.3 position is crucial for any team and the Saurashtra batsman must be aware of his lean patch.

“There is no doubt that Pujara will be mindful of the lean patch he is going through, as far as scoring those big fifties or scoring those hundreds and you expect a lot from Pujara at the No.3 position because that is a very important position along with both the openers,” Laxman stated on Star Sports, reported HT.

Rahul Dravid, India’s No.3 in Tests earlier, was prolific when it came to Tests in England. He had scored 1,376 runs in 13 Tests in the UK and averaged 68.80 with six centuries to his credit. Laxman cited his example and asserted that a No.3 batsman needs to put a solid foundation for the rest of the batters.

“In 2002 and 2007, the reason behind our victories on those two tours was because our top order and our No.3 batsman, which was Rahul Dravid, they fired. Once the top order sets a very good foundation, it allows the middle-order batsmen to come and play their natural game and while doing that you post a very healthy total in the first innings and you are always dictating the terms,” Laxman added.

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