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In the Test series against Australia, these were Cheteshwar Pujara’s returns: 521 runs at an average of 74.43. That is a stellar series, by any standards. He also played a vital hand in Saurashtra making the Ranji Trophy final. With the IPL and the World Cup to come, Pujara has earned his temporary break from cricket.
In an exclusive interview with Times of India, Pujara spoke about his technique and the tour to Australia. Here are excerpts from that interview.
A great Australia Test tour?
It was a special series for me personally as well as the team. All the players said that this is the most special overseas win. But we want to get better and stay at No.1.
The other side of Cheteshwar Pujara 😎
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 4, 2019
A more positive approach?
The situation demanded that. When you are batting with the tail, you always have to play your shots. There is a perception about me that I don’t play too many shots, but I try and not play them until the situation demands.
Australia’s toned sledging?
There were many instances but I remember the first Test. Nathan Lyon and Tim Paine tried to sledge me. They almost felt that the game was over when we were 40 for four, they thought that we’ll be bowled out for 150-160. And even later on, I think in the third or fourth Test, they were trying to sledge me but at the same time they started laughing in the end. Lyon came and told me: ‘Aren’t you bored of batting now? You’ve scored so many runs.’
Thoughts on the upcoming World Championship?
We have already started discussing about the format and points system. We don’t have all the details, but we have already discussed about the various possibilities. I am sure Test cricket will get a lot of importance going forward with all the boards thinking about the survival of Test cricket. That is the purest format of the game and it will survive.