India vs England: We will get used to pink ball as we play more, says Pujara

Ahead of the pink ball Test against England, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara says the team needs to play normal cricket depending on how the pitch is.

Cheteshwar Pujara bats in the nets in Ahmedabad on Saturday.   -  Twitter/@cheteshwar1

Having grown up in Rajkot, a four-hour drive from Ahmedabad, Cheteshwar Pujara is no stranger to playing at the Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera. In fact, the last Test the stadium hosted before being reconstructed as the largest cricket stadium in the world saw Pujara scoring a double hundred versus England in 2012.

As he trained at the swanky venue for the first time, Pujara remembered the last match was so long ago he had “just got engaged”. He was not sure about what’s lying in store next week for the third Test against England. Not only will India play only its second day-night Test at home but it will be played on a pitch that is yet to stage a First Class game.

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Have to accept

“We didn’t have too many games after the completion of the stadium due to COVID, so I feel we have to accept the conditions and move on,” Pujara said in a virtual interaction on Saturday.

“We don’t have enough experience with pink ball. We will get used to it as we keep playing more. Going forward, not sure if we’ll play more games with pink ball,” he said.

“It’s again a Test, we’ll have to play normal cricket, have similar game plans of what we had in the last match depending on how the pitch is. As a team we have certain goals as batting and bowling unit, so we would stick to that.”

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Grass cover

While the possible grass cover, a must for pink-ball Tests across the globe, will be the talk of the town, last week’s turner at Chepauk continues to draw flak from former England cricketers. Pujara, however, didn’t see anything untoward in the pitch.

“When it comes to turning tracks, you can’t define how much it should turn. It’s a thin line. I don’t think it was a bad pitch. Yes, it always becomes difficult to bat in the second innings. When we play in Australia on day four or day five, the pitch becomes a little dangerous with odd ball hitting cracks and take off,” he said.

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