IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

IND vs NZ Live: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, 'Rahane and I will hit centuries soon'
IND vs NZ Live: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, 'Rahane and I will hit centuries soon'

IND vs NZ Test: Pujara expects to break century duck: It’s been exactly 1055 days since Cheteshwar Pujara last scored a century. It was his flashy 193-run knock against Australia in Sydney when India last watched him raise the bat. Since then, he has played 22 matches without scoring a ton. But he expects to break the century duck soon. Ahead of the 1st Test in Kanpur, Pujara said it was just about a good innings and it will come. The same goes for Ajinkya Rahane who hasn’t scored a ton since the Australia tour last year. Follow InsideSport.IN for India vs New Zealand series. 

“I have been contributing with 50-60 runs. As long as I play well, I am not worried. It will come. It is just a matter of a good innings and with the Indian conditions, it will come soon,” Cheteshwar Pujara said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

Also read: India Playing XI vs NZ 1st Test: Ajinkya Rahane in fix, Shreyas Iyer or Shubman Gill for No 4 spot in 1st Test?

Cheteshwar Pujara leans into a drive, Australia A v Indians, Tour match, Drummoyne Oval, December 6, 2020

For Cheteshwar Pujara, the wait has been longer than anyone in the Top 5. The last time he scored a century was back in Sydney on January 3, 2019, when he gave a batting masterclass, scoring 193. In fact, it was his fourth century in eight innings. However, since then he has struggled.

IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

However, a couple of half-centuries in England will give him a lot of confidence going into the two-match Test series against New Zealand, beginning Thursday. From a slow start, he changed his approach, attacking bowlers more often than he did in his last 20 innings. Going against James Anderson and Ollie Robinson helped as he gained the much-needed confidence.

“There was no major change in technique. I was just playing fearlessly. I was just enjoying my game. So far, the preparation has been good and the experience of playing in Indian conditions will help,” said Cheteshwar Pujara, who will be the vice-captain in the first Test in Virat Kohli’s absence.

IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

Also read: India Playing XI vs NZ 1st Test: Ajinkya Rahane in fix, Shreyas Iyer or Shubman Gill for No 4 spot in 1st Test?

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara batted through the middle session on day four for 49 runs, England vs India, 2nd Test, Lord's, London, 4th day, August 15, 2021

For Ajinkya Rahane, the last time he scored a century was back in Melbourne in the Boxing Day Test against Australia. Since then, he has averaged 19.57, playing 19 innings. It includes two half-centuries including one against England at Lord’s.

However, Pujara isn’t worried. He believes Ajinkya Rahane is also just a good knock away from a century and the added responsibility of a captain will do more good than harm.

IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

“Rahane is a great player, there are times when a player goes through a tough time and that’s a part of this game. There can be ups and downs but I feel he is a confident player. He is someone who works hard on his game and I am sure he is just one innings away from gaining back the form,” Cheteshwar Pujara said.

“Once he gets back to scoring runs, he will be back in form. He has been working hard in the nets. So he is a good touch, hoping that he scores big runs in this series,” he added.

Excerpts from Cheteshwar Pujara Press Conference

Added responsibility:

It can work in your favour. The ultimate focus will be on the India team not me. The good thing is I was part of IPL team and could practice and train.

Ajinkya Rahane’s form

He (Rahane) is a great player, there are times when a player goes through a tough time and that’s a part of this game. There can be ups and downs but I feel he is a confident player. He is someone who works hard on his game and I am sure he is just one innings away from gaining back the form,” said Pujara in the virtual press conference.

Once he gets back to scoring runs, he will be back in form. He has been working hard in the nets. So he is a good touch, hoping that he scores big runs in this series.

IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

Confidence from England series

There was no major change in technique. I was just playing fearlessly. I was just enjoying my game. So far the preparation has been good and the experience of playing in Indian conditions will help.

New WTC cycle and Rahul Dravid

We were hurt but we came back strongly in England. Now, the time is to continue that. Experienced players like us have played with Rahul bhai and the amount of experience he has will help us. 

Neil Wagner

He is one of the best bowlers. We will have strategies against him. We know how he bowls in Indian conditions.

No century

I have been contributing with 50-60 runs. As long as I play well, I am not worried. It will come.

IND vs NZ Test: 1055 days and counting, Cheteshwar Pujara declares, a century is around the corner, ‘Rahane and I will hit centuries soon’

Kanpur Pitch

We will take a look at the pitch today. But as per our experience, it should have some assistance to spinners. We can’t take New Zealand lightly, we have to be prepared for them.

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