India vs New Zealand: “Being fearless has helped me enjoy the game,” says Cheteshwar Pujara cricket news

It was not a change in technique, but a fearless approach that brought joy back to the batting for Cheteshwar Pujara, who would not put undue pressure on himself to perform. Pujara insisted that not getting a Test century in three years doesn’t bother him as long as his 80s and 90s are coming to a grinding halt. Does he think his aggressive approach in the England Test helped him after facing criticism for his ‘lack of intention’? “Yes, I think so. When it comes to performance, the mindset was a little different but when it comes to technique I don’t think there was a big change in technique. It was just the approach and I was a little fearless. Helps,” Pujara replied to a PTI query ahead of the team’s training session.

He admitted in the roundabout that he was putting too much pressure on himself at first, which has changed since scoring 91 and 61 at Leeds and The Oval.

“You don’t need to put too much pressure on yourself and just try and go out there and enjoy the game, instead of worrying too much about what’s going on.” That was the mindset during the England series. So far the preparation has been good and the experience of playing in Indian conditions will help in the next few Tests.”

The lack of a Test century has not been a problem for Pujara since January 2019. He said, as far as my century is concerned, it will happen when it has to happen. My job is to bat well for the team and it’s not like I’m not getting runs. I have 80 and 90 runs. I am batting well and contributing for the team, I don’t care about my century. It’s a matter of one innings.”

Pujara believes that the added responsibility helps but that doesn’t mean he won’t reach juniors without any designation. “The added responsibility can work in your favor as you can share experiences with the youngsters. Even when I am not the vice-captain, I try to share my experiences as much as I can. And the final focus is on the Indian team.”

Rahane just one innings away from a big score

Their captain for the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane has not been in the best of form for the last two years but Pujara is confident that a player of a quality like him will not remain silent for long. “He’s a great player but sometimes a player goes through tough times and that’s part of the game. So there will be ups and downs but he’s a confident player, who works very hard on his game and I’m very definitely more He is just one innings away from getting a big score.

“Once he gets a big hundred, he will be back in form. He has been working hard in the nets and I see the way he is batting. He is in good touch.”

Looking forward to working with Rahul Dravid


Dravid’s entry into the dressing room is a win-win situation for Pujara, whose game is based on the strict defensive technique of the current India head coach. “It will help most of the players, especially the young players who have worked with Rahul bhai during the U-19 and India A days. Even experienced players like us, I have played with Rahul bhai.

Pujara said, “I have worked with him during the A series, so we are all looking forward to his guidance. The amount of experience he has as a player and coach of the team helps.”

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