Senior India Test batter Cheteshwar Pujara is excited to be back among runs with a century in his county season-opener for Sussex and said things that he’s been working on are “paying off”. By his standards, the India No. 3 had a lacklustre outing against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, scoring just one half-century in four Tests. “Things which I’ve been working on is paying off,” Pujara said after his 163-ball 115, his sixth hundred for Sussex.
“As a batter, when you start well, you feel confident. I hope to carry on from here and keep scoring runs throughout the season,” said Pujara, a vital cog in India’s Test batting line-up.
Away from the IPL limelight, Pujara is back at the English county which will serve as his preparation for the marquee World Test Championship final against Australia in two month’s time.
India won the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 to make a back-to-back WTC final, which is slated to be held at The Oval from June 7-11.
In reply to Durham’s 376, Sussex were struggling at 91/4 when skipper Pujara took charge of the proceedings in a 112-run partnership with Oliver Carter (41) on day two of the match, on Friday.
Sussex made 335 in the first innings to cut the deficit to 41 runs.
“It was an important knock for the team as well. We could still have batted a bit better, but we are still not too far behind,” he said in a video posted by Sussex.
“I love batting on this pitch. It’s important to get a good start. I’m really happy with the way things went.
“We needed some partnerships, at one point we were in a spot of bother when we lost four wickets for 91. So that partnership was important.
“Some of them were unfortunate and soft dismissals. I’ve already spoken to the guys. If we get good start we can chase it down,” Pujara added.
Pujara had scored five hundreds and was the fourth highest run scorer in the championship last season, amassing 1094 runs in eight games.
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