Pujara admits 'New Zealand have advantage' ahead of WTC final, says Team India 'not worried about that'
The stage is set for an epic World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand which kicks off from June 18th at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. While Team India will be entering the contest after a lengthy break due to IPL getting cancelled midway, the Kiwis will enter the contest after having played two Tests against England.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, while speaking to bcci.tv, admitted that New Zealand have an obvious advantage going into the match. But Pujara also insisted that the Virat Kohli-led Indian team are not worried about the same.
"They will obviously have an advantage having played two Test matches before the final but when it comes to the final we will give our best and we know that our team has the potential to do well and win the championship," Pujara told bcci.tv, according to news agency PTI.
"So we are not worried about that, we will try and focus on these 10 to 12 days which we have for preparation. We are also going to play a practice game and we will try and make the most of what we have. If we utilise these days well, I feel that our team will be up for the final," Pujara said.
The middle-order batsman from Saurashtra said more than anything, adjusting to the fickle England weather is a big challenge for the players.
"Playing in different conditions in a single day here is the most challenging part for a batsman because if it rains you go off the field and then suddenly it stops raining and you start again.
"So there are breaks in between and this is where you need to understand and accept the challenge. Mentally you have to be strong, your concentration needs to be up to the mark," he added.
Pujara, who has scored 6244 runs in 85 Tests, said reaching the WTC final is a special achievement for the Indian team.
"Personally it means a lot to me because I am playing this one format and this is the most challenging format in cricket. We have worked really hard as a team for a period of time to reach here.
"So, I am sure all the guys are looking forward to the final and winning this final will mean a lot to us. But even to reach the final the team has worked really hard for two years.
"Playing cricket during the pandemic has been challenging and the guys have been excellent the way we have managed things. I think we have come close enough because of the time spent together in the bubble," he signed off.