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South Africa v India: Cheteshwar Pujara backs himself and Ajinkya Rahane, says “form is temporary but class is permanent”

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Cheteshwar Pujara strongly believes in the old adage “form is temporary but class is permanent” and said it held true for him and Ajinkya Rahane as their fluent half-centuries kept India looking for victory in the second Test. Pujara and Rahane were in poor form for this second innings and their 111-run stand set the cornerstone for India, setting a target of 240 for the Proteas. Asked whether he and Rahane felt the pressure after the great Sunil Gavaskar’s prediction that the second innings could be his last chance, Pujara’s reply had the same positive intent as his batting.

“We are confident and there is a lot of support from the team management. We have always been learning from Sunny bhai and whenever I have spoken to him, he has always been supportive,” Pujara said after the end of the day’s play.

He understands that questions will be asked as to when the runs will dry up but players like him and Rahane have won a lot of matches for the team.

“Yes, there are times when you are going through poor form, there will be questions but we are confident players. Me and Ajinkya and we know we are working hard on our game and there is a saying that form is temporary But class is permanent and it applies here.

He said, “We have done well in the past and the management has shown a lot of faith in us and it has definitely paid off and once the batsman is in form, you keep scoring runs and going up and up. Huh.”

It was a great thing for Pujara that both coach Rahul Dravid and captain Virat Kohli supported him.

“The team management has always been supportive except outside noise, the coaching staff, the captain have been behind all the players.

“There are times when you don’t score a lot of runs but it is important to follow the right routine and keep working on the game because sometimes you will not get runs but if you follow the right procedures, you will get runs and This is what has happened. I am sure this form will continue.”

Pujara is very confident that the pitch will deteriorate in the second hour and due to the bounce, the pitch will get spoiled.

Although the use of heavy rollers on the track makes batting easier, he admitted.

“I find that with the heavy roller, the pitch settles a bit, it takes a while to open the cracks because there are dents and it settles down a bit. After an hour or so it starts to have a variable bounce, that’s what We are hoping for tomorrow, in the first hour it can play well,” he said.

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Pujara backed Rishabh Pant, who faced a lot of criticism for charging Kagiso Rabada on the track and throwing his wicket away.

“We all know that Rishabh plays an aggressive game. Though he didn’t score runs in this game, he will definitely come up well in the coming games,” Pujara said.

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