Indian Test specialist has been spending crucial time with Yorkshire as he is gearing up for the gruelling Test series against England which will start post India's completion of the limited overs series starting July 3.
Team India this time around will be on a mission to take revenge of their forgetful tour of 2014 against the Englishmen.
As India is playing Ireland in a two-match T20I series, Cheteshwar Pujara in a recent interview with TOI, spoke about how he is preparing himself for the series and about a lot of other things related to cricket.
When asked about with his stint with Yorkshire so far, Pujara stated " There have been ups and downs but it has been a fabulous learning experience. While I played some satisfying innings in white ball cricket, I want to score more runs in red ball cricket too. Playing in England at the start of the season is never easy, as the conditions are challenging for batsmen. But I relish these challenges. I have known most of these teammates since 2015 and so, we have a great time off the field too. When we travel for games, the road trips are fun and some of the boys really sing well."
Next he went on to say as to how his stint with Yorkshire will help him approach the Test series. "We have a great chance of doing well in England this time. This experience will be an added advantage for me and the fact that players like Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin have played county cricket in the recent past will help us too. Playing county cricket improves you immensely as a player. Also, a lot of the players in this team have played in England before and they know the conditions well. It is always tough to play against England in their own conditions but we have an excellent bunch of players and there are reasons to be optimistic this time" said the Indian number 3 in Tests.
The conversation then was regarding Afghanistan's debut Test against India. Though Afghanistan lost the match in just two days, they certainly showed a lot of promise in the bowling department with Rashid Khan leading the way.
Pujara said on the same "Playing in the historic test match against Afghanistan was a proud moment for me and now, I am looking at doing well for Yorkshire, so that I am in a good frame of mind before we play against England in the test series.”
Regarding the Test match finishing in just two days, Pujara was quoted saying " I have heard that a lot of people are questioning whether Afghanistan deserved the test status but I think that they need this kind of exposure. It will be harsh to judge them on the basis of just one poor performance. Let us not forget that their very first test match was against one of the best teams in world cricket."
"I am sure that they will learn from their mistakes and eventually, they will become a much better team. They have some very good players, who will start doing well once they play more at this level".
Pujara concluded his interaction on what prompted him to share Indian soccer captain Sunil Chettri's video after the latter urged the countrymen to come out and support the Indian football team at the stadium.
"India is doing well in a number of other sports and it is important that the fans encourage these sportspersons too, just like they do for the cricketers. Team India has improved a lot in football in the last few years and players like Chhetri have come up with some superb performances, which is inspiring. Look at the kind of laurels that our badminton players are winning consistently, and that is true for several other sports too. Besides, irrespective of how your national team is faring in any sport, it’s important that the fans keep supporting the players. For a sportsperson, the most important thing is to compete and give his/her 100% every time while representing the country. When the fans support them, it means a lot to these players" Pujara concluded saying.