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It is important to leave the ball well: Pujara on SA challenge

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Cape Town: Cheteshwar Pujara, a vital cog in India's batting wheel, today stressed on the importance of leaving the ball on the bouncy pitches of South Africa during the three-Test series beginning here on Friday.

India lost the series 0-1 on the previous tour of South Africa four years ago but Pujara was amongst the runs alongside Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. "It is important to leave the ball well, especially overseas. Once you move out of Asia, there is enough bounce in the pitches and that is the reason one should be able to leave the ball," said Pujara after a practice session here.

The gritty 29-year-old has gained valuable experience from his two trips to South Africa, and goes into his third series here in a positive frame of mind. "It (the adjustment) is both technical and mental. The good thing is that most of the players have been here before. Personally, I have been here twice (2010-11 and 2013-14). It is about knowing your game, knowing the conditions and you just need to apply yourself."

India arrived here four days ago and go into the first Test without playing a warm-up match. Asked if the players feel rusty, Pujara replied in the negative.

"See, when we were playing at home against Sri Lanka, we had the South Africa series in our minds. We had prepared few things even in India. I don't think we are in any rush, there is plenty of time to prepare."

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