Cheteshwar Pujara has a very sound defence. But we din’t see any of it on Tuesday when India’s No. 3 spoke to the press ahead of the Boxing Day Test match against South Africa.
Pujara took the opportunity to fire a few verbal salvos at the South African team by insisting that the Proteas were lucky not to have been 1-0 down going into the second Test match. Pujara said that the Indian team came out of the first test with a lot more positives than their opponents and claimed that India will look to repeat their Johannesburg performance and clinch a first series win on South African soil.
“We bowled brilliantly right through the first Test. It was only one session whereand Faf du Plessis batted well. Even then, they were lucky. And now if can’t play this Test match, it will be a huge blow for them,” Pujara said.
Pujara expressed confidence that the Indian bowling were more than capable of taking 20 SA wickets and win the second Test match.
On SA not going for the target in the last three overs of the first Test & choosing to play for the draw, he said, "That clearly shows that South Africa are not confident about their lower-order batsmen. It’s a positive for us, in fact, we had many more positives from the first Test than the South Africans."
The No. 3, who scored a brilliant 153 in India’s second innings at Johannesburg, claimed that while the Test match was draining both physically and mentally, the Indian team will be up for the battle come Boxing Day.
"You expect such close matches in Test cricket and I don’t think there’s any problem with the recovery. We trained well today and are looking good for the Test," Pujara said.
The batsman, however, when asked abouts below par performance in the first Test chose to play it with a straight bat.
“We don’t want to underestimate him. It’s important that we are careful against him and not take him lightly,” he said of Steyn.
India and South Africa head into the second Test match in Durban on Thursday with the series on the line.