WTC Final: “If we win, many youngsters would want to play the Test format” – Cheteshwar Pujara


Cheteshwar Pujara feels the World Test Championship final can help inspire the next crop of Indian cricketers. The India No. 3 admitted the format is essential for the survival of Test cricket.

India take on New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship Final on June 18. The much-awaited clash will take place at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Cheteshwar Pujara spoke to the media during a press conference, where he spoke about the importance of the upcoming clash.

“Test cricket needs to survive, and a WTC format helps where every Test, every series is important. If we win, then many youngsters would want to play the Test format and be part of the final when the next cycle comes around,” Pujara said.

Having been a red-ball specialist for most of his career, Cheteshwar Pujara hasn’t experienced the highs and lows of India’s white-ball side in recent years. The WTC final is thus the pinnacle of his cricketing career, and Pujara is eager to make a mark on the big stage.

“Personally, it means a lot to me. This is the first time we are in a WTC final. We have worked hard over a period of time. It’s just like playing in a 50-over or T20 World Cup final,” Pujara claimed.

Cheteshwar Pujara explains how intra-squad game helped India prepare

Team India recently took part in a three-day match simulation in the build-up to the final. The BCCI regularly updated fans on the scores and highlights, and Cheteshwar Pujara revealed how it helped the side get up to speed.

“For bowlers, it was important to get used to the workload again. They would have bowled 14-15 overs in the entire game, which is very important for their workload. For the batsmen, it was about spending time in the middle, having the discipline of leaving balls, playing shots you would in a game. So being in the middle and having match scenario is very important,” Pujara mentioned.

New Zealand come into the match having adjusted to the English conditions with a two-Test series against England, while India haven’t played a Test since they defeated England in March. Only time will tell whether the lack of match time will prove to be a disadvantage for Cheteshwar Pujara and Co.

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