Is the Indian team playing mind games with the Proteas?
Cheteshwar Pujara used to be this timid and spot-spoken boy from Rajkot. A couple of seasons with the Indian team and he’s learnt the tricks of the trade. On Tuesday, Pujara spoke like we’ve never heard him speak before.
Asked if the team had spotted any weaknesses in the South African line-up, he said, “The kind of batting line-up they have, I think we have got a very good chance to bowl them out. Only Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers were able to score big runs. So it’s a positive for us. We believe that we can get them out. Also, if you look at the last session, they were cautious about not going for the target. They were worried about (exposing) their tail-enders,” Pujara said. That was straight and in-your-face.
Time and again, Pujara spoke about the positives India took from the first Test. “We batted really well. We bowled really well. So if we can repeat the same thing, then we have a very good chance of winning this Test match,” he said.
He also took a dig at South Africa’s spinners. “I think (Imran) Tahir didn’t bowl well. The kind of expectations South Africa had from him, he didn’t bowl well enough and they also knew that they would have to bowl JP Duminy and him because Morne Morkel was injured in the second innings.”
India held an optional training session on Tuesday, but barring Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, everybody was present.