Pujara: 'We have a bright chance to win'

Cheteshwar Pujara hopes India makes a big score tomorrow so it can pressurise England on day five, when the ball starts turning.

cheteshwar pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara scored his ninth Test ton on day three.   -  K. R. Deepak

After making a hundred in his hometown's first Test, Cheteshwar Pujara was optimistic of India winning the Test.

"Obviously we have a bright chance to win the game if we bat well tomorrow," he said, "I definitely believe that the ball will start turning from tomorrow and batting on day five will be difficult for them. But at the moment I don't want to talk too much about it, we batted well today."

"In the last session we lost a couple of crucial wickets, but we're still in a good position. If we continue to bat well tomorrow and once we reach the same total or get a lead of 60 or 70 runs, it will help us in the second innings. But the plan is really simple - to first reach that mark of 537."

Batting with Murali Vijay for 67 overs, he put on 209 runs for the third wicket. He said the key feature of their partnership is communication.

"Both of us have been playing Test cricket for a long time. And especially me and him are the ones who are just playing this format. We spend a lot of time, not just on the field but also talking about the game and about this format," he added.

Listen to Pujara's interaction with the media
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"We have played some domestic matches in the free time after the New Zealand series and we were there at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) to practice before the start of this series. So I think it's the communication which keeps us going."

"We know each others' strengths, we know what the opposition is trying to do and we always try to communicate. I think that's the most important thing about this batting unit, not just communicating with Vijay, but communicating with other players as well."

Pujara set out to score not just a hundred. He wanted a double century.

"To be very honest, I was hoping to get a double hundred, because they had so many runs on the board and I did not just want to score a hundred. I thought If I get a double hundred, it will only help the team. I told myself that it is not just about one more run, it was about 101 more runs when I was on 99. I was nervous but I just wanted to focus on scoring more runs."

A century at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium is special for Pujara.

"It means a lot. I've been playing a lot of domestic matches here and so I have a lot of experience in these conditions. I have a triple-hundred in a first-class game. So before I played this game there were many nervous moments because of expectations from many family members and close friends who were watching this game; even the crowd was expecting me to score big runs. But I told myself that I don't need to think about it; I just wanted to focus on the process and things turned out well for me."

Pujara admitted poor judgement whilst playing a few short balls.

"I got a couple of good bouncers. I did not judge them well. But at international level, I expect bowlers to bowl bouncers. Usually, I am very good at short balls. So, I think there were a couple of occasions where I did not judge properly."

"I told myself that even if I get hit on the helmet or body, I will take it. I know the conditions very well, couple of short balls don’t disturb me and my gameplan."

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