Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara admitted that New Zealand has an advantage over them before the ICC WTC final which starts on June 18, but he also mentioned that the Indian team is not worried about them.
New Zealand recently beat England 1-0 in the two-Test series by winning the second Test at Edgbaston by 8 wickets. With the win, the Black Caps registered their first Test series win in England since 1999. For England, it was their first home Test series defeat since 2014.
Meanwhile, India has been practicing hard at Southampton and is playing an intra-squad match as preparation for the ICC WTC final. They do not have any practice matches lineup with any other teams and have to rely on themselves to get ready for New Zealand at the Rose Bowl, Southampton.
They Will Obviously Have Advantage Having Played Two Test Matches Before The Final: Cheteshwar Pujara
Indian players also needed to get into Test mode given that they are coming off after playing the IPL 2021 and need to get used to the Dukes’ Ball and England conditions in double quick time than the Kiwis.
“They will obviously have advantage having played two Test matches before the final but when it comes to final we will give our best and we know that our team has the potential to do well and win the championship.
So we are not worried about that, we will try and focus on these 10 to 12 days which we have for preparation. We are also going to play a practice game and we will try and make the most of what we have. If we utilize these days well I feel that our team will be up for the final,” Pujara told bcci.tv.
Winning This Final Will Mean A Lot To Us: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara, who has scored 6244 runs in 85 Tests, said reaching the WTC final is a special achievement for the Indian team. He mentioned that players like him who play only one international format for the country, are seeing the ICC WTC Final as something big, and winning the match will mean a lot to him.
“Personally it means a lot to me because I am playing this one format and this is the most challenging format in cricket. We have worked really hard as a team for a period of time to reach here. So, I am sure all the guys are looking forward to the final and winning this final will mean a lot to us. But even to reach the final the team has worked really hard for two years,” the 33-year-old said.
New Zealand recently leapfrogged India to become the new no.1 ranked Test side in the world after beating England 1-0 in the two-Test series.