Southampton [UK], June 15 (ANI): India top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Tuesday said that playing in the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) final means a lot to him.
India and New Zealand will lock horns in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, beginning June 18. The Kiwis have already entered the bio-bubble for the summit clash having defeated England in the two-match Test series.
"Personally, it means a lot to me This is the first time we are in a WTC final. We have worked hard over a period of time. It's just like playing in a 50-over or T20 World Cup final. Test cricket needs to survive, and a WTC format helps where every Test, every series is important. If we win, then many youngsters would want to play the Test format and be part of the final when the next cycle comes around," said Pujara.
The batsman also said that not playing warm-up matches is a bit of disadvantage, but his side will be up for the challenge against New Zealand.
"It is a disadvantage, but this is something we can't control. These are challenging times in the world because of the pandemic, and you cannot have the luxury for extra preparation time. But the most important part is the game is still going on and that we're playing a final. Yes, preparation time is a bit of a disadvantage maybe, but if you're ready for the challenge, even if circumstances aren't favourable, you'd do well. We're confident as a team. Maybe a few extra days of preparation would've helped, but we can't complain. We're ready," said Pujara.
When asked how the Indian unit has utilised the time in Southampton, Pujara said: "We've utilised the time really well. Even during the centre-wicket simulation, we had some practice wickets available. When in the middle, you want to ensure things you're working on in the nets to come along.""For bowlers, it was important to get used to the workload again. They would have bowled 14-15 overs in the entire game, which is very important for their workload. For the batsmen, it was about spending time in the middle, having the discipline of leaving balls, playing shots you would in a game. So being in the middle and having match scenario is very important," he added.
Prior to departing for England, India head coach Ravi Shastri had said that going ahead, the International Cricket Council (ICC) should look to make the final of the WTC a best-of-three contest and it could be played like a three-match series. (ANI)