There was no help from the pitch, says Pujara

There was no help from the pitch, says Pujara

As India failed to force a victory in the final Test, Cheteshwar Pujara backed the bowlers and pointed out that the flat deck at Feroz Shah Kotla didn't offer any bite to them.

Pujara admitted India were expecting more wear and tear on the surface on the last two days.

"Overall we have really bowled well in this Test match especially looking at the wicket. We were expecting this wicket to deteriorate a bit more especially on days 4 and 5, may be because of the weather, it was a flat wicket. There was not much help for spinners. But our fast bowlers and spinners bowled really well," Pujara said.

Slip fielding

India's slip fielding has been a cause of concern lately. The frequent changes in the slip cordon has added to the problem. Pujara said the team is taking firm steps to rectify the issue ahead of the South Africa series.

"We are having a chat about it and we will assign a few players throughout the away series. We will prepare a few players who will be standing in the slips. We will discuss when we reach South Africa but we are already talking about that," Pujara said.

"To be honest we haven't fielded well in the slips. At the same time there have been injuries where openers have missed out, someone like Murali Vijay, who used to be at first slip, didn't play due to injury for six months. So we had to replace Vijay. I admit we haven't taken many catches but we will definitely get better at it."

Ready for South Africa  

Pujara said the team was well prepared for South Africa in January. "We will be very well prepared before we head to South Africa. Some of the guys are having enough time to prepare for the series. Another thing, we have enough experience. I have been to South Africa in 2010 and 2013. Many of our players were there in 2013, at the same time our fast bowling unit is much better now and will do a lot of damage. South Africa batting, what it used to be and what it is now, there is a difference," he said.

Pujara, who became the leading run-scorer in 2017, said he was looking to improve. "It has been a fantastic year but there is scope for improvement. I feel things could be better," he said.

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