IND v ENG 2021: ‘Not sure how much the ball is going to swing around in D/N Test’, says Cheteshwar Pujara

The third Test will be played in Ahmedabad from February 24.

Cheteshwar Pujara | GettyVeteran India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Saturday (February 20) said it is difficult to predict how much the SG ball will swing in the first-ever Day-Night Test at the revamped Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Last week, India levelled the four-match Test series 1-1 against England after an emphatic 317-run win in the second Test at Chepauk. The third Test will start on February 24.

"We are not sure how much the ball is going to swing around for this particular Test," Pujara said in a virtual media interaction after the first net session, as quoted by PTI.

"Early on it might swing a bit, but maybe going forward as the match progresses, it might not be a lot of swing but we never know with the pink ball it's very difficult to predict."

According to Pujara, the pitch looks decent but "a lot could change with three-four days left for the Test".

"It's a different ball game with the red ball. With the pink ball, it's very difficult to judge or assess anything before the match begins because sometimes you're expecting something but it turns out something else with a pink ball.

"I would just try to keep things very simple as a player, and not worry too much about the pitch," Pujara said.

"I've played so many Test matches but with pink ball I also don't have enough experience. I don't think experience matters a lot when you are playing just one off game in a Test series with the pink ball," he said.

Ahead of the pink ball Test, India and England players have started training and they have been left mesmerized by the world's largest cricket stadium with a sitting capacity of 1,10,000.

Commenting on the reconstructed stadium, Pujara said: "It's a new stadium, it's a new pitch. Once we play more games we'll get to know about the pitch. But it's a beautiful stadium we all are enjoying here. We had a gym session yesterday.

"Personally, I've some fond memories of the last time I played in 2012 which was right after my engagement."

"In the old stadium, it was helpful for the spinners. But if you bat well, there was value for your shots. The ball would reverse as well. I will always remember the Test," he further remarked.

India have so far hosted only one Day-Night Test and it was against Bangladesh on a green track at Eden Gardens in November 2019, in which the hosts outclassed their neighbours by an innings and 46 runs inside three days.

But such a move could backfire against England as the visitors boast a star-studded pace line-up in James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad.

"To be honest it's very difficult to predict whether you can keep the grass cover or can take it off. We are in a stage where we don't have a lot of experience as players but we are trying to figure out... We'll see,” Pujara said.

"It's very difficult to say anything about it because we have played just one day-night game (in India) which was with the SG ball. The domestic games (Duleep Trophy), was with Kookaburra balls.

"I feel it's an important game for us to qualify for the World Test Championship so we would try to focus on the things what we want to do as a team and make sure that we win this Test," he added.

During their second pink ball Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval, India got bowled out for their lowest-ever total of 36 to succumb to an eight-wicket defeat.

"It was a different ball game altogether, we were playing in Australia. The ball was swinging around a lot and we had a bad session, one and half hours of poor batting that led to the disaster.

"Here we are playing in our own conditions, the ball is also different with the SG ball and the guys have played a (pink ball) Test with the SG ball so we are pretty confident that we will put up a good show," Pujara stated.

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 21 Feb, 2021

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