Indian Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara feels that winning a Test Championship will be bigger than winning an ODI or a T20 World Cup. Pujara who is an indispensable part of the Test outfit looked in great touch during the warm-up clash against New Zealand XI scoring 93 in the 1st innings.
India is currently occupying the No 1 position in the Test Championship with 360 points under their belt. They have been unbeaten in the championship so far and will look to keep their record intact at the end of the Test series in New Zealand. Meanwhile, India has been bolstered by the return of Ishant Sharma after clearing his fitness test.
Cheteshwar Pujara during an episode of 'Inspiration' of India Today said,
"When you become Test champions, I would say it is more than winning an ODI or a T20 World Cup. The reason is, this format is the ultimate format. If you ask any great cricket player from the past, even the present cricketers, they would say that Test cricket is the most challenging format of this game. And when you become world champion of Test cricket, there is nothing like it."
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India started off the ICC Test Championship with two back to back victories in West Indies before thrashing South Africa and Bangladesh at home 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. In the process, India also registered the record for registering 4 consecutive innings victories in Test cricket. Cheteshwar Pujara feels that it will be a challenge playing in New Zealand but is confident of thriving in overseas conditions. The 32-year-old right-handed batsman said,
"Most of the teams have done well in their home conditions but when they go away, they are always challenged. Especially about the Indian team, we have managed to do well overseas. We have now started winning series overseas."
"So, that is the biggest advantage this Indian team has now. Talking about the Test championship, any team who gets into the final, they have to work really hard for over a period of two years and they have to win not just at home but also they have to start winning away from home."
With the introduction of the ICC Test Championship, Test cricket has become more intriguing and competitive. India has enjoyed a great run in Test cricket in the last year and a half and occupying the numero uno position is just a testimony to their performances in the past year or so. Pujara being an integral part of the Test squad lauded ICC for their decision to start the Test Championship.
"To sustain Test cricket, ICC had to come up with something and all the cricket playing nations have to think about Test cricket. To sustain Test cricket, I think this is one of the best platforms players can ask for. And there is something to play for in each and every Test match. You won't see many draws now," he said.
"So going forward, most of the Test matches will produce results. At the same time, even the opposition side, if they manage to play a draw, they will still get some points. Overall I think we'll see a lot of competitive cricket at Test level. But going forward, I think we still have to do a few more things for the Test format to survive."
Published 15 Feb 2020, 22:22 IST