Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood feels the price Cheteshwar Pujara puts on his wicket makes him one of the most difficult batters to bowl to, and added that there is a “thrill” one gets after dismissing him.
Pujara recently completed a century of Test matches during the Border-Gavaskar series, and though he couldn’t score big in the four matches, he still had some vital contributions.
The 35-year-old has more than 7,000 Test runs from 102 games, including 19 centuries and 35 half-tons.
Hazlewood, who is nursing a tendon injury which sidelined him during the Test series against India, added that Pujara is someone Australians “love to hate”.
“It’s a bigger thrill for the the bowlers (to dismiss Pujara). I think when you do end up getting his wicket, it means you have earned it,” Hazlewood said on RCB podcast on Tuesday.
“It means you’ve put in a lot of hard work. Whether it is the fifth ball he (Pujara) faces… you’ve already bowled to him in the previous Test matches, you’ve earned that respect and you’ve earned that wicket,” added Hazlewood, who was RCB’s pace spearhead during IPL 2022, taking 20 wickets.
Hazlewood said that he had had some great tussles with the Indian stalwart, adding that he was a fantastic player.
“He’s someone I’ve had some great tussles over the years, and, in particular, in Australia. He’s someone Australians love to hate but he’s a fantastic player and I guess that is part of Test cricket. When you do get him out, you’ve earned it,” said Hazlewood, whose participation in IPL 2023 could be in doubt because of the tendon injury.