'Mumbai knock was better'

Cheteshwar Pujara played a big hand in pushing India towards a competitive first innings total on the second day of the second Test here on Saturday. Despite England mounting a fine fight back, the Saurashtra batsman said India could comeback into the match if they exploit the first session on day three to the hilt.

“Well, we needed more wickets to be honest. And a couple of decisions went against us, and still I think we bowled decently. Tomorrow it will be a different day, and it turns a bit more in the first session. So, we have to utilise that and get some more wickets.

Otherwise, the pitch has eased out a bit, and shot-making is easy now,” Pujara said.
Pujara was pleased with his knock, and rated the hundred here a better knock than his double hundred at Ahmedabad. “I think this (knock) was better than the Ahmedabad innings. Personally speaking, this innings was more satisfying than the double hundred because we were in trouble and the team needed bit of score on the board. I thought even the wicket was difficult to bat on. So, it was satisfying to score a hundred on a difficult wicket.”

The classy right-hander also stressed on the consistency part. “It’s is the most important part as a batsman. I am happy that I am able to perform consistently. I have done the same thing even in the domestic cricket, and I am happy that I have been able to do that at the international level as well.”

Pujara was certain that he won’t be labeled as a Test batsman, denying him chances in the one-dayers.

“I can play the ODI format as well. In the domestic cricket, I have been very successful in the Challenger Trophy, and I think I will get my chance in the ODI format as well, and I just need to keep going myself as a batsman,” he said.

Both Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane suffered hits while fielding at close-in positions, and India’s new number three allayed worries of serious injuries. “I have got a little bit of soreness on my rib, but I should be fine. Ajinkya is fine, and it’s not an elbow injury. He has got a bit of soreness, and he’s icing it. But it’s not a major injury.”

No press conference of Pujara would end without that Rahul Dravid question. “I have always said that it’s a wrong comparison (with Dravid), and he has scored more than 10,000 runs in both the formats. I am just starting my career and I don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I just want to play my natural game and I want to continue to do well for Team India. I don’t have any long term plans at the moment.”

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