Cheteshwar Pujara has spoken in an exclusive interview with GossipMantri about India’s historic victory in Australia, the upcoming series against England at home and also the Indian Premier League (IPL). India’s Test batter was part of a young Indian team that, without its leader and talisman Virat Kohli, managed to beat the Australians to take the Test Series Down Under 2-1. The middle order batsman said India’s batting unit outperformed the Australians, and the win was made possible thanks to the team’s character and persistence.
“Great country to play cricket. Australia is a very competitive team. Our boys showed a lot of character and persistence. It was very difficult to accept our low score in Adelaide. We took the rest of the series as a run of three games,” Pujara told GossipMantri.
“The turnaround took place in Melbourne. Once we won in Melbourne and the series was 1-1, we knew we had a chance to win the series.”
“Australia had a good squad, but didn’t succeed very well. From the second test we achieved the goals we set as a batting unit,” said Pujara.
The Test star remained undisturbed despite being subjected to a bouncer bar by the Australian fast bowlers. Pujara took numerous blows to the body, but fought during the Gabba test while Rishabh Pant produced a magical knock to get India over the line.
Speaking of the blows he received, Pujara said, “There’s a little bit of blood clot on the shoulder, but it’s all resolved now. I’ve made a good recovery.”
“You have all the protection when you wear the helmet. But the one I got on the finger was really painful. That was the hardest blow. I thought my finger was broken.
“I was first hit on the finger during the nets session in Melbourne. I carried the beer to Sydney. But when I got hit on the same finger in Brisbane, it was excruciating,” said India’s batter.
The right-handed also looked forward to the upcoming challenge at home and said England will not be pushy.
“Looking forward to the series in England. The most important aspect is qualifying for the final of the World Test Championship. That’s what the guys go to. They play good cricket in India. They’ve done well in Sri Lanka too. We can’t stand it. Pujara said ahead of the start of the Test series in Chennai on Feb. 5.
Pujara, who has made a name for himself for his determination and patience in the longest form of the match, also showed his interest in playing in the Indian Premier League.
“I absolutely want to be part of the IPL. If I get the chance, I am confident that I will do well,” said the 33-year-old.
Pujara also spoke of being called ‘Steve’ during his stay in Yorkshire, England.
Taj Butt, a former district team member, had revealed that every “person of color” in Yorkshire was called “Steve,” even Pujara.
“I never felt like I was being racially abused. I had a great time playing for Yorkshire. I’m not sure if the name ‘Steve’ was used that way for me. A friend there had a hard time getting my name, ”Pujara concluded.
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