Batsman Cheteshwar Pujara says New Zealand will have the advantage going into the WTC Final after playing a Test series against England but India will utilise the available time to prepare well for the title clash, starting at the Ageas Bowl on June 18. While the Indian squad is training by playing intra-squad matches after completing their quarantine period, New Zealand trumped England 1-0 in a two-match series in the run-up to the World Test Championship final. The Indian players played in the IPL before the T20 league was suspended due to coronavirus.
“They will obviously have advantage having played two Test matches before the final but when it comes to final we will give our best and we know that our team has the potential to do well and win the championship,” Pujara told bcci.tv.
“So we are not worried about that, we will try and focus on these 10 to 12 days which we have for preparation. We are also going to play a practice game and we will try and make the most of what we have. If we utilise these days well I feel that our team will be up for the final,” he added.
The middle-order batsman from Saurashtra said more than anything, adjusting to the fickle England weather is a big challenge for the players.
“Playing in different conditions in a single day here is the most challenging part for a batsman because if it rains you go off the field and then suddenly it stops raining and you start again,” Pujara said.
“So there are breaks in between and this is where you need to understand and accept the challenge. Mentally you have to be strong, your concentration needs to be up to the mark.” Pujara, who has scored 6244 runs in 85 Tests, said reaching the WTC final is a special achievement for the Indian team.
“Personally it means a lot to me because I am playing this one format and this is the most challenging format in cricket. We have worked really hard as a team for a period of time to reach here,” he added.
“So, I am sure all the guys are looking forward to the final and winning this final will mean a lot to us. But even to reach the final the team has worked really hard for two years,” he explained.
The 33-year-old said the Indian team is a well-knit unit as the players have spent considerable time together in the bio-bubble.
“Playing cricket during the pandemic has been challenging and the guys have been excellent the way we have managed things. I think we have come close enough because of the time spent together in the bubble,” he concluded.
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