The Telegraph
Friday , May 9 , 2014
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Won’t be easy to switch to Test mode: Pujara

New Delhi: India will embark on a redemption tour to England just after the ongoing IPL and Cheteshwar Pujara, expected to be one of batting mainstays of the team, feels it will be a tall order for the visitors to switch to Test cricket mode from T20 format.

“It won’t be easy at all,” Pujara, playing for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), said. “But the good thing is that we have two practice games before the five Tests. We will try to make the most of them.

“We will obviously have some plans to tackle the conditions,” he said of the tour, which starts with a three-day match against Leicestershire on June 26.

Besides five Tests, India will play as many ODIs and one T20 International in its tour of England.

According to Pujara, adjusting to the unfamiliar pitches there will be the biggest challenge for the visitors. “The wickets there are something we can’t have in India and that makes the job really challenging. It is the same for them when they come here and play on spin-friendly wickets,” he said.

“One thing that will give me confidence is the experience of playing in New Zealand and South Africa where I managed to do alright,” said the 26-year-old Saurashtra batsman, averaging 58.92 in 19 Tests.

Pujara has certainly made a name for himself in the longest format, but on several occasions, he has expressed his desire to excel in all three formats.

“I am learning every day in this format (T20). I have spoken a lot to David Miller, Glenn Maxwell and Viru Pa (Sehwag) on how to improve as a T20 player. I still feel I have a lot of catching up to do in this format.

“T20 is all about innovation and I am working on new shots so that I am able to hit the big shots whenever the need arises. I am also working a lot on my strength and fitness. But I am doing all these keeping in mind that they don’t affect my natural game,” Pujara elaborated.