County stint helped me: Pujara

Vastavam web: Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara admitted that he was under pressure to score runs and credited his county stints for providing him the confidence to bat in English conditions and overturn his poor form during the third Test here. Pujara scored 72 runs and added 113 runs with skipper Virat Kohli as India piled on 352-7 decl. and set an imposing 521-run target for England to win the third Test. “The way I batted in this innings, I felt that whatever I was working on in the nets, it came along. Really pleased to score those 72 runs, valuable 72 runs for the team,” he added.

Pujara overcame a poor run of form wherein he averaged 14.66 in the past nine innings, with his last half-century coming in Johannesburg on a green-top against South Africa. “It was important all our top-order starts scoring runs, especially in this Test match. The way our opening batsmen batted in first innings and second innings, I think lot of credit goes to them because sometimes it’s not about scoring big 50s or 100s.

“If they score 30 or 40 runs it is quite valuable for the team. I think both innings we got off to more than 50 runs without losing any wicket which is always important,” he said. “And we are very well balanced in this Test match. We are looking forward to tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened in the past or the way our batsmen got out. We should be really happy with the amount of runs we have.”

Pujara said one needs to trusts one’s technique to score runs in this conditions. “You just need to trust your technique, your temperament and be confident about how you know to play in such condition,” he said. “Everyone has a different technique, and everyone has a way to play. We just need to play the way we know as a batsman.”

The 30-year-old also credited his partner after Kohli scored his 23rd Test hundred during India’s second innings yesterday. “He batted brilliantly. He has been batting well since the first Test match. He is in good touch and is making the most of it. Some shots that he is playing on this pitch are very difficult for any other batsman to execute and that shows he is in good form and batting really well,” he said. “Anderson is a great bowler no doubt but facing him in 2014 in similar conditions has helped me. I knew what areas he bowls in and what should be my game plan. I was clear with my game plan. I think facing him in the past helped me because I’ve played him even in Indian conditions,” he said.

“It’s always challenging to bat against them. But the way we had our partnership, especially in the first session, I think we knew what we wanted to do. You just have to respect the conditions and the way they bowled. We had our game plan and we stuck to it. I think we won that session,” he added.