India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, out on his third South Africa tour, believes the current team carries the weight and experience to rule the roost in the upcoming series. The team doesn’t seem to be bothered about the threats and challenges; instead, they are content sticking to their plans.

“When we were playing Sri Lanka, we had already started talking about the South Africa tour. The plans are in place. I don’t think there was a rush, we had plenty of time to prepare. We are confident after the net sessions that we have had here so far. The team also had two net sessions a day a couple of times,” informed Pujara.

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Keeping the South African conditions in mind, the Indian team had a pace-friendly strip in the first Test against Sri Lanka in November. “There was some movement and bounce in Kolkata. It was still different from what we may get here, but we tried to replicate what we could. Even in other matches, and whenever we hit the nets, South Africa tour was on our mind,” he added.

“Most of our players have been here before. I have been here in 2010/11 and 2013/14. It is about knowing your game and knowing the conditions. When you have played on such pitches, you know what you want to do as a batsman and as a team,” Pujara highlighted his experience from last tours.

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He also feels the Indian pace attack is better this time. “They are all quick, so we have that advantage this time. Our fast bowlers have bowled well even in Indian conditions when there was not much assistance from the wicket. They picked up wickets on flat tracks, against Australia.”

For the batsmen, he advised, “It is always important to leave the ball well, especially overseas. Once we move out of India, there is enough bounce on the pitch and that’s the reason why one should be able to leave the ball.”

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However, he also stressed how the team never chased records. “When you start winning, records come automatically. We have never spoken about records. We have that opportunity to be a great side, if we do well here, in England, and Australia.

“We have that experience and a team which can dominate overseas. If we do that, this will be one of the best Indian teams.”