Cheteshwar Pujara confident of India’s chances in Australia

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Cheteshwar Pujara is certain that India have got a good chance to win in Australia if they can replicate what was done in 2018/19.

Pujara pointed out that India’s bowlers "know how to be successful in Australia" after the last tour and have plans in place to counter the Aussie batting attack. The hosts have a strong batting core this time, bolstered by the return of David Warner and Steve Smith, who missed the previous series between these sides.

"It (Australian batting) will be a little stronger than what it was in 2018/19, but then victories don't come easy. If you want to win away from home, you need to work hard. No doubt Smith, Warner and Marnus Labuschagne are great players. But the good part about our current crop of bowlers is that most of them play in the same series, and our bowling unit will also not be very different to what it was in 2018/19.

"They know how to be successful in Australia as they have enjoyed success there in the past. They have their game-plans in place and if we can execute them well, they are capable of getting Smith, Warner and Labuschagne out quickly. If we can do what we have done in the past, I am sure we have every chance of winning the series again."

India’s bowlers had a good tour of Australia last time around with Jasprit Bumrah finishing as the joint-highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets and Mohammad Shami finishing just behind him with 16 scalps.

Aside from the return of two stalwarts in the batting line-up, Australia have the experience of playing more day/night Tests, all of which have gone in their favour. The first Test between these sides in Adelaide will be a day/night affair with the pink ball, India’s first such Test away from home.

"It will be a different challenge altogether playing with the pink ball as the pace and bounce also change. We will be playing with the pink Kookaburra in Australia. It will be slightly different,” Pujara said.

"As a team and as individuals, one has to understand and accept and get used to it as early as possible. There will be a bit of difference with the pink ball. The twilight period is more challenging than other periods, but as you play more and practice more, you get used to it. It does take a little while."

Pujara hasn’t played in a long while and had been training in his academy in Rajkot before flying down to Australia. However, the middle-order batsman is confident about his preparations.

"This is a situation that has impacted millions of lives and people have lost lives. In normal circumstances, we would have played domestic cricket and gone to Australia, but everyone needs to think about safety and security. As far as I am concerned, I am happy if I am able to practice, do my fitness, running sessions and move my body well, which I did. Even during the last tour, my preparation was good. I am confident that I will be able to repeat the same preparation before this series also."

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