Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has said that the presence of Steve Smith and David Warner in the Australian side will not be a huge factor since the Indian fast bowlers know what it takes to take wickets Down Under. The four-Test series between the two sides begins with a pink ball Test in Adelaide on December 17.
In an interview with PTI, Cheteshwar Pujara acknowledged the fact that the inclusion of Smith, Warner and Marnus Labuschagne will make Australia stronger than what they were during the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won 2-1.
"It will be a little stronger than what it was in 2018-19 but then victories don't come easy. If you want to win away from home, you need to work hard,” Cheteshwar Pujara said.
Pujara, though, added that it augurs well for the Indian team that their pace attack – comprising Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav – is the same from their last series in Australia.
“No doubt Smith, Warner and Marnus Labuschagne are great players. But the good part about our current crop of bowlers is that most of them play in the same series and our bowling unit will also not be very different to what it was in 2018-19," Cheteshwar Pujara said.
"They know how to be successful in Australia as they have enjoyed success there in the past. They have their game-plans in place and if we can execute them well, they are capable of getting Smith, Warner and Labuschagne out quickly... If we can do what we have done in the past, I am sure we have every chance of winning the series again," Cheteshwar Pujara reasoned.
‘In the end, you need 20 wickets to win a Test,’ says Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara was the architect of India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia when he bagged the Player of the Series award, after scoring a mammoth 521 runs in seven innings. Pujara was quick to attribute the win to the entire team saying that the fast bowlers played a more important role.
“You can't win matches on your own. Yes, you can perform exceptionally well but you need support from other players to win. Even the bowling unit was remarkable during the last series...In the end, you need 20 wickets to win a Test and wasn't just my performance, even other batters supported at some stage or the other. It was the team's success. When the Indian team succeeds, it is always a moment of pride,” Cheteshwar Pujara recollected.
India’s tour of Australia this year will begin with the ODI series on November 27 followed by a three-match T20I series, before moving on to the four Test matches starting December 17.