Port Of Spain: India’s middle-order mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara scored his last half-century six innings ago but the Saurashtra batsman is “not too worried” about his own form, saying he is happy as long as he is contributing to the team’s success.
Pujara was dismissed for just 16 during India’s only innings in the first Test against West Indies at Antigua.
“No I am not worried. Overall I have been batting well. Even in the South Africa series, there have been good scores and some good batting on challenging wickets. So at times you have to be realistic and see the contribution without seeing whether I am getting hundreds or big double hundreds. It’s always about contributing to the team’s success,” Pujara told reporters here.
“At the same time I realised that I played a bad shot in the last Test when I was looking good. I did the hard work in the first session when the ball was moving.
“Things, though, remain very simple. I always have to contribute and play with responsibility. I have spoken with Anil Kumble too, and he told me a few things about my batting. Most importantly, he told me he was happy with the contributions I have made in the past and is positive about the way I am currently batting,” he said.
Elaborating the team’s goal, Pujara said India are gunning for a series whitewash here in their quest to become the No. 1 Test side in the future.
“The first aim is to win the series and obviously we would like to win all the Tests here. But we are taking it one match at a time and we will be focusing on winning this one. We have a positive environment and all the guys are charged up for this match. Going ahead we want to be the No. 1 Test team in the world too,” he said.
Asked if India will adopt a new strategy in the upcoming Test considering the change in conditions, Pujara replied, “I don’t think so. If we see the first Test there was good pace and bounce from the wicket, and we did well. We just need to continue doing what we have been doing well and there have been many partnerships from the last game.
“In particular Ravichandran Ashwin batted well and Amit Mishra did well too, so both the top-order and lower-order are doing well, which is a positive sign from the team.”
Having not played at Sabina Park before, Pujara refused to predict the nature of the Kingston wicket.
“I haven’t played a game here, but looking at the wicket at present, it is difficult to predict what sort of pitch we will get here,” said Pujara.
“Overall as a team, we have been playing good cricket and that is what we will look to do. We won’t worry too much about the wicket and I think if we play to our potential there is a good chance of winning the series.”
The West Indies have roped in 19-year-old pacer Alzarri Joseph in their squad for the second Test. The youngster was the joint third-highest wicket-taker during the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year, picking up 13 wickets.
“From what I have heard he (Joseph) has done well in the Under-19 World Cup. Obviously I haven’t seen him bowl, but I don’t know whether he will be in the final eleven. He is a new guy and I think he is talented, so we will be doing some video analysis about his bowling,” Pujara said about the new inclusion in the West Indian squad.