Cheteshwar Pujara: Kumble bhai has changed my intent

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Cheteshwar Pujara: Kumble bhai has changed my intent

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SportsCafe Desk


In-form Cheteshwar Pujara has credited coach Anil Kumble for his change in attitude after the Saurashtra batsman scored his third hundred in as many Tests on Thursday to put India in control of the ongoing second Test against England in Visakhapatnam.

Pujara shared in a 226-run stand for the third wicket with skipper Virat Kohli to help the hosts recover from 22-2 to post a commanding 317-4 at the close of day 1.

"I think I've not changed much as far as technique is concerned. It's just the intent... ,” the 28-year-old told a news conference after scoring his 10th Test hundred. “I spoke to Anil bhai after the West Indies series and even during the New Zealand series. What he told me was that 'You've been scoring a lot of runs in domestic cricket, even in international matches.'

“The way I started off in the New Zealand series, I got 50s, 60s and 70s, and then I was missing out on the 100s. So what he told me is that there was nothing wrong the way I was batting, and probably the area I can improve on is the intent, and that's what I worked on.”

It was the fourth hundred-plus stand between Pujara and Kohli who have as a pair put on 1496 runs in 29 innings, as fluent Pujara brought up his century with a six off spinner Adil Rashid.

“Yes, completing the 100 with a six was special to me, but as I started well … I mean starting well in the series meant a lot, and scoring a 100 at home (Rajkot) was special to me.

“I just wanted to continue my form and obviously I was batting well. It was a day-one pitch, I just wanted to capitalise. Obviously, we lost a couple of early wickets, but after that, myself and Virat spoke that we wanted to build a partnership, and the way Virat batted, the kind of partnership we had, was a crucial one for the team,” added Pujara who surged past the 3000-run mark in his 40th Test.

 “The way he (Kohli) was batting, he likes to play his shots and the kind of runs of he has scored in all the formats of the game, I always enjoy batting with him because he likes to dominate. Talking about my batting, I am in good form. I just wanted to continue that form and once both of us were set, we just wanted to capitalise on the situation. We were rotating the strike really well and when there was an opportunity to score quick runs, we did.

“Overall, it was really good, I enjoyed batting with him. There was a time when we spoke that we needed to accelerate a little bit, and we were able to do that.”

Pujara backed KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, who fell early on to Stuart Broad and James Anderson respectively. “Both the openers have scored many runs playing in Indian conditions and abroad, and so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with their techniques. Sometimes, you do get out, you’ve got to accept that,” Pujara said.

“Day one, in India, we mostly see that it is always good for batting. Even if you see in the last Test match, Rajkot day one was really good to bat on. Even day two was good to bat on in Rajkot. 

“I don’t know how this will shape up from tomorrow but we are expecting it to turn a little more than what happened in Rajkot. If we bat well – we are looking to put up a good total on the board – then let’s see how it turns out on day three.”

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