'We have self-belief after scoring runs'

'We have self-belief after scoring runs'

Cheteshwar Pujara was one of the key performers with the bat that helped India stay in the first Test despite Australia big total. The right-hander, who struck his first half-century in nine innings on Thursday, spoke to the media about team’s approach and his lack of big innings among other things. Excerpts.  

On message from skipper Kohli: What we discussed yesterday (Wednesday) was to fight back. The score that they made, we discussed that we can definitely achieve this with the kind of batting line-up we have. That was the target, to score as many runs as them. We have a very good batting line-up and it was about proving to ourselves that we can achieve this. We’re in a good position to do so.

On not getting a big innings: At times I feel disappointed that I couldn’t capitalise and score a big one. But you can’t score double-centuries all the time. Obviously, I want to score as many runs as possible, but you also have to respect the opposition. When I get out I try and analyse what went wrong and try and come back strongly.

On Lyon’s bowling: He was getting a bit of turn from the rough. He was trying to bowl in those areas. When I played him last in India and what I'm seeing now, he has improved his bowling.

On the improved running between the wickets: The straight boundary here is big. In Australia you get all-run fours many times. We knew there was a chance of that. The more you play with all the batsmen, the better understanding and communication you have with them. As you progress, you know what to expect. You know the places we can drop and go for a single.

On his dismissal: I was a little unlucky. I didn’t know where the ball was, at first. When I saw the replay I thought there might have been a chance for me to stop the ball. But it went so fast that I didn’t have time.

On the positives gained: If you have a good start, you can take many positives out of it. It’s all about self-belief and the kind of self-belief we have now after scoring these runs we can take it into the next innings and the next match.

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