We had a strong team: Pujara
Bengaluru, Sep 24: Rest of India captain, Cheteshwar Pujara, was a visibly happy man after his team beat Rajasthan by an innings and 79 runs to lift the Irani Cup. He especially appreciated the efforts of his bowlers who bowled Rajasthan out twice and helped register a comprehensive victory with a day to spare.
Excerpts from Pujara’s post-match press conference:
On the convincing victory and a good start to the season
Yes definitely, we had a strong team [...]. I am happy with the way the match went.
On his fast bowlers
In the first innings, in the first session, we bowled a little short, but we came back strongly and they bowled in the right areas in the second and third session, and that showed. I think we got six wickets in the third session on the first day.
On Ishant Sharma
[...] I think he is coming back from an injury. I think he has recovered and getting into his rhythm and I am happy with the way Umesh [Yadav] and Ishant have bowled.
On whether there was a difference in the pitch in comparison to when he played the Test match here against New Zealand
I think it was kind of similar. Few balls were keeping a little low on the third and fourth day, but that’s the way this wicket plays. I have played my debut match against Australia over here and even at that time the ball was keeping a little low on the third and fourth day. So, that is expected off this wicket.
On Murali Vijay’s knock
I think he wanted to score a triple-hundred. He was asking me how I have scored a triple-hundred in domestic format. He is known to score big runs. He has scored a double-hundred on his debut. The wicket was also flat, but to score a double-hundred or more than that is creditable. On any wicket, you have to have concentration and patience; and he has shown that.
On his shot selection and batting
I just have to choose the right ball. I am not going to hook the ball. If the delivery is below the shoulder level, then I can play a pull shot. I am working on it. I am ready to leave the ball and whenever it is in my range, then I am going to play my shots.
On whether he felt let down at some point by the spinners
I think the wicket was too flat for the spinners on the first two days. Pragyan Ojha bowled decently. The ball was coming on to the bat and he had to contain the batsmen. The spinner’s job was to contain [the batsmen] because there was help for the fast bowlers. In the second innings, Ojha and Harmeet [Singh] both bowled very well and that is why we got an innings victory. It was difficult for the fast bowlers to take all the wickets.
On giving Harmeet Singh the new ball
There was bit of help for the spinners as I mentioned earlier. And with the new ball there is a chance of getting lbw when the left-arm spinner bowls. The ball was coming in, and the odd ball was turning. So, that was the plan while giving him the new ball.