Australia 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 hundreds and 35 half-centuries.
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 bowlers (to dismiss Pujara). I think when you do end up getting his wicket, it means you have earned it," Hazlewood, who is on the Royal Challengers Bangalore roster, said on a podcast from the franchise 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 Pujara.
"He's someone I've had some great tussles with 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.
Bach pushes for inclusion
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Tuesday defended plans to get Russian and Belarusian athletes back into competitions as neutrals, saying their participation “works” despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The IOC sanctioned Russia and Belarus after the February 2022 invasion but is now eager to see athletes come back across all sports and have a chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
It has set out a pathway for these competitors to earn Olympic slots through Asian qualifying. But Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Paris Games should they compete there, even as neutrals.
“Participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in international competitions works,” Bach said in his address at the IOC’s executive board meeting in Lausanne.