A fresh challenge, a fresh start: Pujara on India's upcoming tour of Australia

The last time India toured Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara led the charge with three hundreds and a fifty, which eventually helped the touring side clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Cheteshwar Pujara holds the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after India won the Test series 2-1.   -  Getty Images

The last time India toured Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara led the charge with three hundreds and a fifty, which eventually helped the touring side clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the first time Down Under.

As the team gears up for yet another tour, Pujara is confident of India doing well again.

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He understands that it’s always a challenge to beat the Aussies at home, but Pujara believes if the players are ‘up for it’ mentally, then there’s no reason why they can’t create history again.

“It will be challenging, no doubt about it. But our team is very confident now, especially there were many positives from the last tour. Yes, we won the series, but apart from that, look at the way we played cricket, there were many players who performed. It was a collective effort,” Pujara said on Tissot Presents Sportstar Extras T20 Time show.

 

“The way our fast bowlers bowled was incredible. They’ve gained a lot of confidence from that. So, we are a much stronger unit. Yes, their (Australia) side is also stronger with (Steve) Smith and (David) Warner. It won’t be easy, but I am confident that if we start off well and if the guys are up for it mentally and are confident about beating them, then we will,” he said.

“As long as we are confident and perform to our potential, this team has the talent (and potential) to repeat what happened in the past…”

'Fresh challenge'

Personally, Pujara does not want to think about what happened in the previous tour. “There were so many positives, but it will be a fresh start for sure. You can’t live in the past and just be happy about it. Yes, it was a wonderful tour and all of us were happy, but this is a fresh challenge, a fresh start. One has to look at it as a new challenge,” the batsman, who amassed 521 runs in that Test series, said.

 

While most of his teammates have been busy playing the IPL, Pujara and Hanuma Vihari have not played any form of cricket since the country went into a lockdown in March. Pujara admits that it will be a challenge to get back into rhythm, but he is looking forward to the training sessions in Australia.

“The most important part is mental preparation. Physically, I have been training well, practising well. So, the skill and fitness part is covered. But not having played enough matches is something that can be psychological. Mentally if you think that you are in the zone, it might take some time. But as long as you are mentally prepared and if I am confident that I can pull it off, then it’s just a matter of one innings,” he said.

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