Pujara: 'Playing county cricket did help me'

Cheteshwar Pujara may not have scored too many runs for Yorkshire in the County Championship Division One this season (172 runs from 12 innings), but that stint had helped him a great deal, he stated on Monday.

Pujara’s 72 on the third day of the third Test was only his second half-century in 13 Test innings but he felt he had been striking the ball well.   -  AFP

Cheteshwar Pujara may not have scored too many runs for Yorkshire in the County Championship Division One this season (172 runs from 12 innings), but that stint had helped him a great deal, he stated on Monday.

This was Pujara’s fourth season of county cricket, the batsman having previously turned out for Derbyshire and Notts. “Playing county cricket did help me,” he said. “I’ve learnt a lot. Although I didn't score too many runs in red-ball cricket, I was playing on challenging pitches. Ultimately, we just need to trust our technique. We just need to play the way we know.”

Pujara’s 72 on the third day of the third Test was only his second half-century in 13 Test innings but he felt he had been striking the ball well. “There is always some pressure, especially when you haven’t scored too many runs. But I always felt that I was batting well. Especially in the nets, the way I was timing the ball I was very confident I was up for a big one. I'm really pleased to have scored those valuable 72 runs for the team. When you're away from home it's not about big hundreds but about having enough runs on the board collectively,” he said.

India scored only 70 runs in 29 overs during an engrossing first session's play, with Pujara and Virat Kohli at the crease. “You just have to respect the conditions and the way they bowled," he said. "We had our game plan and stuck to it. I can't reveal too much about it. We enjoyed that partnership in the first session. We won that session.”

Pujara was confident that India would dismiss England on the fourth day. “There's enough help for the fast bowlers," he said. "We saw in the first session today that some balls were climbing, some stayed low. If we bowl the way we did in the first innings, we'll have a good chance of bowling them out tomorrow.”