India's batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara has expressed confidence that his second innings knock in the drawn Sydney Test will help him go a long way in countering the strategies the Australian bowlers have adopted against him.
The Australian bowlers have in general kept a stranglehold on Cheteshwar Pujara during the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with Pat Cummins particularly having caused him a lot of trouble. The dogged India No.3 would have overcome some of the demons in his mind during his match-saving 77-run knock on the final day of the Sydney Test.
During a post-match interview with the Sony Sports network, Sanjay Manjrekar asked Cheteshwar Pujara if he felt Australia is doing something different when bowling to him as they seem to have come up with specific plans after the success he had enjoyed against them in India's last trip Down Under.
The Saurashtra batsman acknowledged that he has found it hard to keep the scoreboard moving because of the tactics the Australian bowlers have adopted against him.
"Absolutely, they have done a lot of research, they have seen a lot of videos of where all I had scored. They have also come up with a strategy where I am finding it difficult to score runs," said Pujara.
However, Cheteshwar Pujara observed that he was able to counter their game-plan to a certain extent during his second-innings effort of the Sydney Test, which will hold him in good stead for the final encounter of the series to be played in Brisbane.
"But after this inning, I felt that somewhere or the other I was able to break that strategy which I was trying to do. I will get the advantage from this in the fourth Test match," added Pujara.
I have got the result of my hard work in this Test match: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara pointed out that it took him a while to regain his form because he had not played competitive cricket since the COVID-enforced lockdown. The Test specialist had a longer break than most of the other Indian players as he was not a part of the IPL that preceded the Australia tour.
"But yes, it was not that easy for me and I was playing a Test match after quite a long time. I actually didn't get to play a first-class match after COVID. So, the touch was also missing and I was trying to regain that," stated Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara signed off by stating that he was keen to regain his touch and that the efforts he had put in over the last few months had finally paid dividends.
"I had got a good start in the first Test match but after that when you get out, somewhere or the other there is some pressure in the mind and mentally you feel that I need to get back in form. But the hard work I have been putting for the last 3-4 months, I have got the result of that in this Test match," concluded Pujara
The Indian team would have expected Cheteshwar Pujara to rekindle the form he had displayed during their historic maiden Test series win in Australia in 2018-19. But the first couple of Test matches of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy proved to be a struggle for the gritty batsman.
The rock of the Indian batting lineup has shown positive signs with his twin half-centuries in the Sydney Test. The Indian team will hope that he continues in the same vein and comes up with a big three-figure knock in the series decider at Brisbane.
Published 11 Jan 2021, 21:43 IST