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New Zealand will have advantage in WTC final but India up for challenge: Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara said more than anything, adjusting to the fickle England weather is a big challenge for the players.

By: PTI | Southampton |
June 13, 2021 7:10:13 pm
Cheteshwar Pujara has a big role to play in the WTC final, says Karthik. (AP/FILE)

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 here 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.”

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.

“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.”

Batting straight and close to body key to success in English conditions, says Rahane

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane believes that a batsman who loves challenge will relish the unpredictable conditions in England and said the key to achieve success there is to play straight and close to the body.

“Batsmen who enjoy batting in challenging conditions will relish in England. If you get set, England is very good place for bating. As a batsman, I have realised that in England, the more you play straight and close the better it is for you,” Rahane was quoted as saying by ‘bcci.tv’.

“One more thing I feel is that as a batsman you are never set even you are batting on 70 or 80, one ball and there is a chance of you getting out,” he said ahead of the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand starting here on June 18.

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