Cheteshwar Pujara and his Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat have found their way back at the nets after isolating themselves in the face of the pandemic for more than three months.
Pujara donned the pads again when he resumed training at his academy, located in the outskirts of Rajkot, alongside Unadkat, batsman Arpit Vasavada, and medium-pacer Prerak Mankad.
Earlier on Monday, the 2019/20 Ranji Trophy winner posted a photo of him hitting the nets in Rajkot — having just 185 infections so far — on social media.
“Back at it… felt like a long time away but just as I took the stance felt as it was yesterday,” wrote Pujara on Instagram.
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Vasavada, man of the match in the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal, indicated how him and Pujara are planning to gradually increase their training intensity to regain their match fitness.
“We [Pujara and Vasavda] started with batting sessions of 10-15 minutes and plan to increase the intensity gradually. Initially, you need some time to get your reflexes back but now batting feels normal. We also have some net bowlers who are based out of Rajkot,” he said.
“JD bhai [Unadkat] also joined us recently and is gradually increasing his time in the nets just like all of us. He is bowling without using saliva on the ball.”
The national team players including Pujara have an uncertain period ahead of them, not knowing when they can assemble for a training camp.
While Pujara last appeared for India in the two-match Test series against New Zealand, his next international assignment is most likely to be the impending Border-Gavaskar series against Australia in December.
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