Not playing a warm-up a disadvantage: Pujara

Not having played a warm-up game ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final is a disadvantage for India, but the team is confident of performing well, said batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Tuesday.

India play New Zealand in the WTC final commencing on Friday.

“It is a disadvantage but it is something we can’t control. And these are different times because of the pandemic. You cannot have the luxury of extra preparation time. The most important thing is the game is still going on and we are playing the final,” said Pujara, referring to not getting a practice game in England.

Pujara rued the lack of time and matches for preparation.

“Preparation time is a bit of a disadvantage. But if you are ready for the challenge. Even if circumstances are not favourable, you do well. We are confident,” Pujara, who was one of the heroes of India’s win in Test series in Australia earlier this year, told the media.

“For bowlers, it will be important to get used to the workload. For the batsmen, it is about spending time in the middle. We have been utilising our time on the centre-wicket, with match simulation. We have had practice pitches available.”

As against India, New Zealand have played two Tests against England leading to the WTC final.

New Zealand batting mainstay Ross Taylor on Tuesday said that the matches against England have been helpful for the Kiwis.

“It was ideal preparation, playing two Tests against England. Guys gained some match preparation and experience in such conditions. Gives our player a little more confidence,” Taylor told media on Tuesday.

New Zealand also had an intra-squad game like India ahead of the two-Test series against England.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Indian team will not get to play any warm-up against any local side throughout their three-and-a-half month stay.