Playing lot of first-class runs has helped me perform: Cheteshwar Pujara

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25 Dec 2022 | 06:52 AM
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Playing lot of first-class runs has helped me perform: Cheteshwar Pujara

The India batter scored 222 runs at 74, that included a ton and a fifty to win the player of the series in the Test series against Bangladesh

India batter Cheteshwar Pujara's place seemed to be in jeopardy when he was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka. But since then, he has worked on his game scoring plenty of runs for Sussex in the County Championship before making a comeback.

Pujara, who won the player of the series against Bangladesh, says playing first-class cricket has really helped him score runs at the Test level.

"I have been working hard on my game. Played lot of First-class cricket and then worked a lot on my game, that's what helped me score these runs," Pujara who finished with 222 runs at 74 in the two Tests against Bangladesh said.

"Sometimes, there is enough gap between Test matches, it helps you prepare. I think playing First-class cricket is really important for improving. You need to be mentally prepared and I believe that if you are strong mentally, and prepare well, you'll be good."

However, India captain KL Rahul admits that there was a lot of nerves in the dressing room during the tense chase, he backed someone to put their hand up and get the job done. 

It was an unbeaten 71-run stand between Shreyas Iyer (29*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (42*) for the eighth wicket that eventually got the job done for India, who were chasing 145.

"You trust the guys in the middle [during such situations]. We've played enough cricket to realise that someone will put their hand up to win us the game," Rahul said.

"But I'm not going to lie, there was a lot of tension in the dressing room. It was a tough wicket to bat on, they put us under pressure in both innings. It was a new-ball surface to some extent, once ball got softer, it was easier to score runs. 

"It was a matter of who plays the new ball better. We did lose a few more wickets than ideal [in the chase] but we got the job done. Will take the win."

With a win in this Test in Dhaka, India have clinched the series 2-0 and remain second in the World Test Championship (WTC) table. They play a white-ball series against Sri Lanka at home next from January 3.

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Bangladesh vs IndiaIndia tour of Bangladesh, 2022IndiaBangladeshCheteshwar PujaraKL Rahul

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