Cheteshwar Pujara has a very sound defence. But we din’t see any of it on Tuesday when India’s number 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 & claimed that India will look to repeat their Johannesburg performance & clinch a first series win on South African soil.
“We bowled brilliantly right through the first Test. It was only one session where AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis batted well.Even then, they were lucky. And now if Morne Morkel 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 & win the second test match. On SA not going for the target in the last 3 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 number 3, who scored a brilliant 153 in India’s second innings at Jo’Burg, claimed that while the test match was draining both physically & 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 about Dale Steyn‘s below par performance in the first test chose to play it with a straight batted defence.
“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 & South Africa head into the 2nd Test match in Durban on Thursday with the series on the line.