Cricket

Wickets in South Africa no more a concern for this Indian team, says Pujara

[caption id="attachment_60767" align="alignnone" width="580"]1501749396_cheteshwar-pujara-india-sri-lanka-1st-test-day-1-score India will rely on Cheteswar Pujara to do well in the series against South Africa.[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Cape Town: Indian middle order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Tuesday said the nature of wickets here is not a concern for the team. Pujara, who will have to play a pivotal role for the visitors to do well in the series said, "We are not bothered about the type of pitch that they (South Africa) prepare.” The 29 year old added, "We'll just try and focus on our own processes. We have a clear gameplan whether it is a flat wicket or if there is some grass on it. We would just like to stay focused on the things that we want to achieve as a team." The wicket at Newlands has a lot of grass on it indicating that there will be enough pace and bounce for the first test match starting from Friday. Proteas pace spearhead Dale Steyn looks doubtful for the first test match. Whether Steyn plays for the home side or not Pujara said the team will not be worried. "It's up to South Africa what they want to do. It doesn't matter who plays for them, we should be well prepared.” The Sourashtra batsman feel the current fast bowling unit looks a much better one compared to previous teams that toured here. "As a unit, out fast bowling is much better this time. We have all the fast bowlers and they are quick so we have that advantage this time," said Pujara. Pujara reckons the current side perhaps has the best opportunity to create history by winning a series here. India is yet to win a series in the rainbow nation. The visitors have so far recorded just two Test wins from their last six tours, clearly suggesting the weakness of the Indian batsmen against genuine quick bowlers. Currently the No 1 Test side, India are on the verge of becoming the first side to win 10 straight Test series wins. But, despite that success, India still find themselves criticised for being a side that thrives in their own conditions and struggles away from home, particularly outside of the sub-continent. That is what makes the next year massive for this Indian side. Within the space of a year they will tour South Africa, England and Australia and have their Test mettle measured against the globe's very best. If they can do well in all of those countries, then they will be considered one of the great Indian sides, signed off Pujara.

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