'Steve Smith was his teammate. He definitely would have...': Gavaskar's sensational 'Pujara' remark ahead of WTC Final

Jun 01, 2023 09:10 AM IST

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar spoke about the importance of Cheteshwar Pujara's presence in the Indian team for WTC Final.

Team India will return to action on June 7 when the side takes on Australia in the final of the World Test Championship. The Indian team will be chasing its first title in the tournament, having faced a disappointing loss to New Zealand in the final of the 2021 edition. The Indian squad has reached England to prepare for the titular clash, and Rohit Sharma's men will be aiming to break a 10-year deadlock for an ICC trophy next week.

Sussex's Steve Smith during warm up with Cheteshwar Pujara before the match(Action Images via Reuters)
Sussex's Steve Smith during warm up with Cheteshwar Pujara before the match(Action Images via Reuters)

While almost all major India stars were busy with the Indian Premier League season over the past two months, Cheteshwar Pujara had been with County side Sussex, as he represented – and captained – the side in select matches in the season. And former India batter Sunil Gavaskar believes that Pujara's experience will be crucial to the side.

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"The fact that he is been around will mean that he will have also seen how the pitch has been behaving at The Oval.

"He might not have played at The Oval, he might be in Sussex not too far away from London but he will have kept an eye on what is happening and his inputs will be invaluable as far as the batting unit is concerned or even as far as the captaincy is concerned," Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“He will have the captains here as far as the Oval pitch is concerned and don't forget he has also been captaining the team, so he definitely will have worked out quite a few strategies seeing that Steve Smith, the Australian is his teammate at the moment.”

Gavaskar also said the Indian batters, coming off the IPL, will have to adjust their bat speed ahead of the WTC final, and advised them to play as late as possible.

"I think they are going to look at their bat speed. Coming from T20 where the bat speed is very fast to Test cricket where the bat speeds got to be a lot more control, that is something they'll need to do," he said.

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