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“My dream is to win the WTC final”: Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of his 100th Test for India




Veteran batsman Cheteshwar Pujara said he never imagined that he would play his 100th Test match for India when he started his career and added that he hopes to lift the ICC World Test Championship trophy for his country. Pujara, who has enjoyed an illustrious 13-year career with India, is all set to play his 100th Test in Delhi on Friday. The second Test of the series will be held from February 17 to 21 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. Delhi is playing its first Test match since December 2017. India is leading 1-0 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.

“When I started playing cricket and then made my (Test) debut, I never thought of playing a hundred Test matches. For me, it’s always about living in the present and not thinking too far ahead . So, for me, I thought first. This series started and that’s when I realized that I will be playing my hundredth Test match. In career, you always go through ups and downs, and you have to fight through those periods,” Cheteshwar Pujara said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.

India will need to win the second Test against Australia in Delhi from Friday to retain their lead in the Test rankings and come a step closer to qualifying for the World Test Championship final in June. To qualify for the final, India will have to win the series 3-1 or 3-0.

When Pujara takes the field against Australia in the second Test in Delhi from February 17, he will become only the 13th player to reach the landmark of 100 Test matches for India. The most number of test matches played in cricket is by legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who is the only cricketer to play 200 matches in the longer format.

“There is a lot more to achieve. I am definitely satisfied and really excited to play this 100th Test match. But at the same time, we are playing an important series. So, hopefully we will be able to win the series,” he added. Will win this Test match and move towards victory.” Another test match that will ensure we qualify for the WTC final. My dream is to win the WTC final for the Indian team, which did not happen in the previous finals. But hopefully once we qualify, we will move towards that,” he added.

Pujara has played 99 Tests so far. He has scored 7,021 runs at an average of 44.15 in his 13-year-long Test career, which started in 2010. He has a total of 19 hundreds and 34 fifties across formats, with his best score being 206*. Last year, he scored 409 runs in five matches at an average of 45.44. Last year, he had a century and three half-centuries with his bat, in which his best score was 102*.

Pujara also expressed his gratitude for the support of his friends, family and coaches throughout his life, especially his father Arvind, who has been his coach since childhood and will be present when he plays in his 100th Test match on Friday.

“It means a lot to me and my family. My father has played a very important role in my cricket career. He is someone who has trained me since childhood, so he is very excited and will be here tomorrow with my wife. Vala, who has been very helpful,” Pujara said.

“In a cricketer’s life, family support is very important and I am very grateful to my family, friends, coaches with whom I have worked over a period of time and who have played a very important role in my cricketing career,” the veteran said. Said. batter.

When asked about his style and approach to hitting and how to find success, Pujara replied that it was not simple and patience was the key.

“Patience doesn’t come by itself, you need mental strength for it. Preparation is the key, I scored runs in junior cricket, age group cricket. It requires hard work over time and I think When you focus on your game, eventually you will succeed,” Pujara said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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