Veteran Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Tuesday was all praise for the team’s newly-appointed head coach, Rahul Dravid, saying that his abundant experience will only help the team grow as a stronger Test side in the coming months. His comment two days before India begin the second cycle of the World Test Championship against the defending champions New Zealand in Kanpur on November 25.
India had lost the inaugural WTC final against New Zealand earlier in June in Southampton and the loss hurt the team, who entered the contest as favourites, admitted Pujara. However, he added that the team bounced back with a series lead against England which helped them grow in confidence.
The vetaran opined that Dravid’s experience will help not just the youngsters, but also senior players like him.
“After the WTC we all were hurt but we came back strongly in England and we played very good cricket. Now the team is back together, confident and new coach Rahul bhai is there,” said Pujara in the virtual press conference.
“That will help most of the players, especially the young players, who have worked with Rahul bhai during the Under-19 and India A series.
“And even someone like us, who are experienced players. I have played with Rahul bhai and worked with Rahul bhai during the A series. All of us are looking for his guidance. The amount of experience he has as a player and coach that will help the team,” he added.
Pujara isn’t concerned about the New Zealand pace attack having already weathered the storm in 2017.
“We have our strategies prepared against Neil Wagner and we have also played him in 2017, so we know how he bowls in Indian conditions so we will plan accordingly,” said Pujara.
The India batter is a key cog in the batting wheel of the Indian team but has failed to score a Test ton in recent times.
“I have been scoring runs, the 50s, 80s or 90s. I’ve not scored a ton but I am not worried about it as long as I keep batting well and contributing to the team’s total. My focus is giving best for the team,” he signed off.
(with agency inputs)