Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara said that the body blows that he endured during the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Brisbane Cricket Ground last year motivated him to do better and his focus was to earn a victory or a draw for his side despite the pain. The Border-Gavaskar 2020-21 Trophy in Australia was a historic one for India. During the series, the side registered their lowest test score ever in the first Test at Adelaide as they were bundled out for just 36. As the series went on, the team also faced injuries which led to the absence of experience, big-time players.
Despite that, the team still managed to outclass a world-class Australian team and win the series 2-1. This included a historic win at Brisbane Cricket Ground, also known as the Gabba, handing the Aussies their first defeat at the venue in over 30 years.
“I think it (body blows) motivated me to do better. Yes, I was in a bit of pain during the first two blows. When I was stuck 2-3 times more at the same spot, the pain was more. At one point I was hit in my fingers, it was unbearable. It was unbearable. I had a chat with physio and he asked If I want to take painkillers. I refused because I do not take medicines during the game because it disturbs my concentration sometimes,” told Pujara to ANI.
So I just told myself that I am being hit on my body, but my focus to to draw the game or win it for my country. My focus was to ensure that we do not lose too many wickets during the first two sessions, during the final day of the game,” he added.
Pujara was present during the trailer launch of the Voot Select’s web series ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’ that. showcases the journey of the 2020/21 India’s tour of Australia also talked about his 148-run stand with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant during the third Test at Sydney that helped India earned a draw. The series will be released on June 16.
“We (Pant and Pujara) were under pressure and we had to make sure we do not lose too many wickets at that stage and have a few more runs at the board to make pressure on the bowlers. When you are chasing 400-plus, it is not easy. What we tried was to build a partnership and think of things we could control, which was to play one session at a time, one hour at a time,” he said.
Pujara said that he was playing his own game and trying to go for his shots after getting settled and Pant was playing his natural aggressive game. “So it was an important partnership between us, followed by what Ashwin and Vihari did to save the game for us,” he added.
On being asked whether the way Pant batted tempted him to play more aggressively, Pujara said, “Not really. One has to stick to their individual strengths. I can’t do what Pant does. He cannot do what I do. We have to stick to our strengths. I did the same. I have enough experience of playing on the Australian soil luckily so that experience helped me and I kept doing what I could do, what I felt was the best for my team.”
Pujara said that everyone contributed to the side in the third Test. “Even when we look at the series, there were players who came and played and most of them played well whenever they had an opportunity,” he added.
The batter said that Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were the best bowlers for Australia during that series.
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