Tue, 30 Nov 2021

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], November 23 (ANI): India batter Cheteshwar Pujara on Tuesday backed stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane to get back among the runs in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.

India and New Zealand will lock horns in the two-match Test series which gets underway from Thursday.

Pujara said Rahane is just one hundred away from roaring back to form as the batter has been working hard in the nets ahead of the series.

"He (Rahane) is a great player, there are times when a player goes through a tough time and that's a part of this game. There can be ups and downs but I feel he is a confident player. He is someone who works hard on his game and I am sure he is just one innings away from gaining back the form," said Pujara in the virtual press conference.

"Once he gets back to scoring runs, he will be back in form. He has been working hard in the nets. So he is a good touch, hoping that he scores big runs in this series," he added.

Neil Wagner, Ross Taylor and New Zealand head coach Gary Stead have admitted that spin will be a major threat to the Kiwis but Pujara said India will not take the visitors lightly going into the Test.

"We have that advantage but we can't take the New Zealand team lightly at all. They have played excellent cricket and they are a good side in all formats, so we will stick to our game plans.

"There will be strategies but overall, we will focus on our game plans, New Zealand is a competitive team and we won't take them lightly at all," Pujara said while replying to a query from ANI.

Earlier in the day, Stead informed that all New Zealand players are available for selection for the first Test which gets underway from Thursday. (ANI)

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