The resting pulse for India in Tests, Cheteshwar Pujara, is a key Indian batsman, who walks at the number three place. He was in a terrific form when India toured Australia last time. He had smashed three centuries and a half-century, which helped India lift the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2019.

As India’s tour to Australia is to commence from November 27, Pujara shares his views ahead of the tournament. “It will be challenging, no doubt about it. But, our team is very confident now, especially there were many positives from the last tour. Yes, we won the series, but apart from that, look at the way we played cricket, there were many players who performed. It was a collective effort,” Pujara said on Tissot Presents Sportstar Extras T20 Time show.

Appreciating India’s bowling side, he added, “The way our fast bowlers bowled was incredible. They’ve gained a lot of confidence from that. So, we are a much stronger unit. Yes, their (Australia) side is also stronger with (Steve) Smith and (David) Warner. It won’t be easy, but I am confident that if we start off well and if the guys are up for it mentally and are confident about beating them, then we will”

He also added, “As long as we are confident and perform to our potential, this team has the talent (and potential) to repeat what happened in the past.”

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Though Pujara alone aggregated 521 runs in the test series alone, he looks forward to the upcoming tour with a calm head. “There were so many positives, but it will be a fresh start for sure. You can’t live in the past and just be happy about it. Yes, it was a wonderful tour and all of us were happy, but this is a fresh challenge, a fresh start. One has to look at it as a new challenge.” 

Pujara understands the real challenge that he and Hanuman Vihari will have to face. Unlike other players, who have featured in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pujara and Vihari didn’t get the opportunity to roll their arms early. Hence, they will have to train a little extra to be competitive in the upcoming series.

Speaking of the mental pressure of not being in line with the cricket for so long, he added, “The most important part is mental preparation. Physically, I have been training well, practising well. So, the skill and fitness part is covered. But, not having played enough matches is something that can be psychological. Mentally, if you think that you are in the zone, it might take some time. But, as long as you are mentally prepared and if I am confident that I can pull it off, then it’s just a matter of one innings.”