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India vs South Africa, 2nd Test: We know we are competent players, says Cheteshwar Pujara | Cricket News

Cheteshwar Pujara had struggled for runs going into this Test match and Sunil Gavaskar had said on Tuesday that this could be the last innings for the player. But he hit back with a superb 53 and his partnership with Ajinkya Rahane put India on the right track. At the end of day’s play, Pujara spoke with the media.
There were questions about your form going into this game. You went for your shots, something that we haven’t seen before. Was this a conscious decision?
It was important to get runs on the board on a challenging pitch. There was bounce and the idea was that whenever I got a loose ball, I would try and put it away. I didn’t do anything extra and the partnership with Ajinkya was crucial. At the end of the day, it was not just about my score but the team total.

When there has been talk about your form, did the team management give you a sense of security?
The team management has been always supportive and the talk about my form has always been the outside noise. There are times when you don’t get too many runs, but if you follow the right processes, the runs will finally come and that’s what happened.
But when Sunil Gavaskar says it could be the last innings for Pujara and Rahane, does self-doubt creep in?
See, whenever I have spoken to Sunny bhai he has been supportive. When you are going through bad form there will be questions asked but we know we are competent players. The management has shown faith in us and if we keep doing well, things can only get better.

The players, be it Rishabh Pant or Jasprit Bumrah, don’t mind a banter with the opposition. Can you tell us about this spirit of the team?
We are a confident team and whenever there is a battle we are charged up. If somebody says something we give it back. There is strong team spirit. It will continue and I hope it will help us win the WTC final.
What’s the fitness update on Virat Kohli?
I can’t say anything officially, but Kohli is definitely getting better and we hope he will be fit soon.
A word on Dean Elgar‘s style of batting…
It seems a catch will come every ball and sometimes we feel how the edge hasn’t happened. But that’s the way he plays and gets tough runs for South Africa. We hope he gets out early tomorrow and we open one end up.

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