Rohit’s comments came after India’s No. 3 returned to form with a belligerent 91 not out on Day 3 of the Headingley Test against England. The visitors ended the day on 215 for 2, still 139 adrift of England’s lead.
Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Rohit said at a virtual press conference, “To be honest, there has not been any talk about Pujara’s batting. The talks are only happening outside. Not a single conversation had happened with Pujara regarding his form inside the team dressing room. We know the quality and experience that he brings to the table. When you have a guy like that, I don’t think there needs to be much of a discussion.”
The opener also pointed out that although he did not score too many runs before Friday, Pujara was involved in a crucial century stand with Ajinkya Rahane at Lord’s. The struggling duo added exactly 100 in the second Test. Rohit explained, “If you talk about his recent performances, yes he has not scored runs. But we saw a crucial partnership between him and Ajinkya (Rahane) at Lord’s, not to forget what he did in Australia.”
Apart from Pujara, Rohit himself made a important contribution of 59 while Indian captain Virat Kohli also found some touch and was unbeaten on 45 at stumps. Earlier, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah claimed one wicket each as England, resuming on 423 for 8, finished on 432, a massive lead of 354. The hosts then sent back KL Rahul for 8 before Pujara and Rohit steadied the innings.
Rohit admitted that India will need Pujara to carry on batting on Day 4 as well, considering how far behind they are in the game. He commented, “The way he batted, it was not the easiest of situations to go in and bat when you are 300 runs behind. From his perspective, he batted really well. But again, the team’s job is not done yet. We have got a crucial couple of days coming up. Hopefully, he can put his head down and keep batting like he does.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent