Pujara on Trump comment: Sad that focus has shifted from game

Pujara’s epic double ton in the third Test, Smith’s battle of attrition in Pune and Ranchi, Lyon and Ashwin’s magical spells in Bengaluru have all been put in the back-burner owing to the bad blood that has spilled over with contributions from all stakeholders.

Cheteshwar Pujara addressing media at the HPCA stadium on Thurday.   -  V. V. Krishnan

Cheteshwar Pujara jumped to the defence of skipper Virat Kohli in the on-going war of words between India and Australia.

Asked to comment on Kohli being termed Donald Trump of world sports, Pujara said, “It’s really sad to hear such comments. We fully support Virat and he is one of the great ambassadors of this game.

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“I think the focus has shifted somewhere else, which shouldn’t have happened. We are very much focused on the game. He is a great leader and great ambassador for the game, so we are fully supporting him. We are looking forward to the next game rather than worrying about anything else.”

READ: Anurag Thakur lashes out at Australian media

 

Wicket will not matter

He did not give much thought about the state of the pitch. “We will just try and focus on things rather than worry about how the wicket will play. We have played enough cricket on different pitches throughout the season. So I don’t think the wicket will matter a lot to us.”

Read: Kohli feeling the heat ahead of series decider: Hazlewood

Was fatigue a factor? “See, we have worked really hard on our fitness since the last one and a half years. I think it is the mental battle we’ve to win and we’re mentally up for it. We are quite motivated because we want to win this series.

“I think fatigue shouldn’t come into play because playing for India is the most important thing for any cricketer and now winning the series is very important, because we’ve had a fantastic season so far. We want to finish off on a good note.”

Did he agree that momentum was with the Australians? “I think we’ve bowled well, and as I mentioned earlier, they scored 450 and we were able to score more than 600. And at one stage they were four down at lunch.

“The session where we didn’t get a wicket was between lunch and tea. But, overall they were six down, and I think we definitely had an upper hand in the last game. Although we didn’t win the game, we just had to bat once and they had to bat twice and that credit I think goes to the bowlers.”

 

 

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