Pujara Emphasized Importance Of Mental Readiness
Cheteshwar Pujara emphasized the significance of being mentally prepared to overcome any preparation or acclimatization disadvantage India may face heading into the inaugural World Test Championship final.
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One-off Nature Of The Final
Given the one-off nature of the final, a slow start, such as the one that saw India lose Tests in Adelaide and Chennai, will be costly.
“Well here I think the mental part is very important because it is a one-off Test,” Pujara said.
“We’ve had 10-12 days of preparation, so you know mentally you need to be up for it because sometimes you [can] have little time for preparation and you are not playing any first class or any other Test before an important game because of quarantine and all the restrictions.”
“Mentally if you are up for this… all of us have spoken about reaching the final and time period, [it has taken] almost two years to reach here. So once we’re here, mentally if we are up for this, then whatever challenges are there… even if the preparation time is less, you try and make the most of it, and then be up for the big one.
It’s just one Test match and every session counts, each and every day is an important one for the final Test. All of us are charged up and preparing really well and I’m very hopeful our team will put up a good show”
“It [the scheduling] is [a disadvantage] but it’s something we cannot control. You know these are challenging times all over the world. You cannot have all the luxuries of extra preparation. The game is still going on and that’s the most important part. For all of us, we are still playing the final. Even if preparation time is less, it may be a little bit of a disadvantage for us. But as I said, if you are up for the challenge,
even in non-favorable circumstances you still want to do well. As a team we are confident that preparation is up to the mark. A few extra days of preparation would have helped but that we cannot complain. I think we are ready for the final,” he added.
Shubman Gill Needed To Come Up To Speed
Shubman Gill, who will need to come up to speed with the early summer English conditions as well as the vagaries of the Dukes ball before facing a formidable New Zealand pace assault on his debut Test tour of England, has a multi-faceted challenge.
“The best part about all young players is that they are very confident. And you know they are ready to work hard to improve their game, depending on the conditions. You’ve seen in Australia, the conditions were not familiar to them but they still did well. Even here, when we started practice sessions, they were finding it a little difficult early on but slowly they worked towards their game, they spoke to the senior players, they spoke to the management and they’re ready to improve.
“I’ve seen the improvement in their game from Day 1 to Day 8 of the practice game. They are ready to make the change and are disciplined enough to be successful. I think if they keep learning, they’ll be successful. Even after this one-off Test, we have five more Tests after the final and their roles will be very important and I’m sure they’ll be able to step up.”
Pujara acknowledged that winning the final would be a watershed event for Test cricket in India.
“I feel Test cricket needs to survive and the WTC will definitely help. If we win, I think more young players want to play Test cricket in India,” Pujara said.
“Even across the world Test cricket needs to survive and having this World Test Championship is a very good way to do it. Each and every series means a lot. Winning every Test gives you points. I think this [WTC] should continue and I feel if India does well, many youngsters will want to play this format and would want to be part of the finals when the next cycles come.”