Veteran India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has said that India will be bringing confidence from their success in the last two years in Australia and England. However, Team India are all set to play against South Africa in a three-match Test series away from home as well. The series will begin on December 26 and Pujara added that they are quite relaxed in the bio-bubble where they are training and it has helped in keeping them mentally fit as well.
“This is the best bubble I have been part of where you can just move around freely and get fresh air. That helps when it comes your mental preparation. You are much more relaxed and in an environment close to nature,” Cheteshwar Pujara said in a video on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official website. “I feel that we have the best support staff and most of the players have played in South Africa in the past. So it is an experienced side and we know what is expected out of us. When it comes to preparation, all of us are ready.”
However, Team India last visited South Africa in 2017-18, where they lost the three-match Test series by 2-1. Since then, they have won successive Test series against Australia and England.
“Having done well in England and Australia makes a big difference in this squad’s confidence and self-belief… that we can win overseas and in any conditions. With our bowling and batting lineups I am very confident we have the capacity to win a series in South Africa,” said Pujara.
He continued: “With experience you learn so many things and you just start believing in your preparation. You don’t need to change too much. Because of my tours in South Africa and Australia, I know the conditions a little better than I did in the past. So with that experience, I know what kind of shots I need to avoid or play. You are a little clearer with your mindset and preparation.”
On the other hand, the current South Africa team doesn’t have a number of legends like Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. Along with them, fast bowler Anrich Nortje has also been ruled out of the series with an injury but Pujara has said that the South Africa team still possess one of the best bowling attacks in the world as well.
“Most of the teams play well in their home conditions and it is the same with South Africa. They have one of the best bowling lineups and facing them has always been challenging. When I first came here in 2011, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were both at their peak. I have visited again in 2013 and 2017 so I understand what is expected. When you are a visiting team you know there is pace and bounce here and lateral movement. To face the fast bowlers is always a big challenge when we go out of India. But this team has learnt that and I feel this is a much more balanced batting lineup. With our preparation I am confident that we will put up a good show,” Cheteshwar Pujara concluded.