Pujara will be a prized scalp for England - Root

Root says coming up against Cheteshwar Pujara would be a great challenge for England's bowling unit.

Cheteshwar Pujara raises his bat during the Sydney Test in January, 2021. - GETTY IMAGES

England captain Joe Root on Thursday underlined the importance of dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara early during the four-Test series that begins here on Friday.

Root described Pujara as a “fantastic” player. “I had (the) pleasure of playing alongside him only a couple of games at Yorkshire and you know to learn from him, speak to about batting and his love of the game, it is really interesting,” Root said at the virtual press conference on the eve of the first Test.

Root said Pujara’s wicket would be huge for his team.

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“So, having played against him as well and being at the wrong end of him, making some huge scores and been out there for long periods of time, you know you learn from those kinds of innings. And you have seen his importance, the value that he adds to the Indian team, he is going to be a huge wicket for us, no doubt about that.”

Root said England players will have to bat long and see whether they are as mentally as strong as Pujara.

“At times, it might be we have to try our patience and play a long game and see if we can be as mentally strong as he is at the crease, when we are out there in the field. We know he is a fantastic player and he has got a fantastic record in particular, so it is going to be a great challenge to come up against him,” said Root.

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