ICC World Test Championship is our Prime Target Now – Cheteshwar Pujara
After guiding India to an unprecedented Tests win over Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara said the ICC World Test Championship is Indian team’s priority. During the Border-Gavaskar trophy, Pujara came good with the bat. In four Tests, he scored 521 runs including three centuries; 193 at the SCG being his best. Meanwhile, the ICC World Test Championship is set to begin in July this year.
We will play as a different unit now – Pujara
In an exclusive interview with Cricket Next, Pujara said after gaining ultimate success in Australia; the India National Cricket Team will play as a different unit outside their home conditions now. India’s number three further said the team would be confident heading into any series, and the success mantra will come into play on future tours.
“I think the most important thing is the Test championship, which is starting from this year. So, to win that as a team and continue the success which we had in Australia is the most important thing. We have started winning overseas. And whenever we play overseas now, I am very sure we will be a different unit.
“We will be even more confident as a team. And I think that the success mantra we have got on this tour will help us in the coming tours in the future.”
I am a very good white-ball player too – Cheteshwar Pujara
There has been this norm about Pujara being restricted to red-ball cricket owing to his technique. However, the right-handed batsman defied such a notion; saying his numbers in List A cricket and for Yorkshire, in the County, speaks for itself.
He added he had scored a hundred and three fifties in four games, which indicates he can play white-ball cricket pretty well too. Cheteshwar concluded on this, saying if opportunities come his way, his numbers will only get better.
“If you look at my List A cricket, the way I have batted, the number of runs that I have scored, is very good and when I played white-ball cricket for Yorkshire last season, I scored many runs. I think I had a hundred and three fifties in about four innings which shows I can play white-ball cricket. I personally have no doubt about it. I can play white-ball cricket, and it is something where I can get a little more exposure. If I get more opportunity then things will change.
“It is the mindset. The moment people start seeing me bat well in ODI cricket or T20 cricket, they will understand that this player can do it. Because if you look at my Test cricket (game), people had that opinion that this is the old-school cricket. But that opinion changed. And even with white-ball cricket, I think in times to come, it will change,” Pujara said.
Number three, the best position to bat? Pujara answers
For over a decade, we’ve seen Pujara bat at number three for India in Tests. Explaining about batting at the particular spot, and how he is ready to play anywhere for the team; Pujara said,
“Mentally you have to be prepared to walk in at any time when you are batting at No.3. It is always nice when openers have a good partnership, you can always relax a bit. I am sure whoever has batted at No.3, they all know that openers’ job is the toughest in Test cricket. You still have to accept that most of the times, they get out early.
“But, especially overseas, it’s a tough job for openers. So they do get out early, but it is always nice to have a partnership. If we are 50 for no loss, I am always happy. But if I have to walk in in the first 5 overs I am still always prepared for it,”
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