‘I always put a price on my wicket... even after a 200’

Cheteshwar Pujara, who notched his first double hundred in Test cricket on Friday, is understandably a happy man. Speaking to the press after the day's play, the 24-year old threw some light on his ability to score big hundreds and on making the number three spot his own. Excerpts.

On his ability to score big

* I've done the same thing in domestic cricket. I never like to get out. There's always a price on my wicket. Even after scoring a double-hundred I never wanted to give away my wicket. That's the reason why I'm able to score big runs.

On the nature of the pitch

* There is nothing wrong with the wicket. We've got three wickets, the ball is turning. We have utilized the conditions better than them. There's a difference between domestic and international cricket. You don't get loose balls that easily. You have to work hard for your runs.

On his motivation

* I got out on 87 in the practice game. If I had ended up scoring a hundred I wouldn't have had the same motivation to make 100 and then 200 in this game. I was comfortable facing all the bowlers. Initially my concern was Graeme Swann because I hadn't faced him before. But after I faced a couple of overs against him I felt that I could manage.

On making No.3 his own

* I'm not really worried about my future. I just want to focus on each and every game. If I continue to score like this then I have a bright future. I don't want to take anything for granted. I just wanted to continue the good form I had in the New Zealand series. I'm happy I've got a decent start in this series as well.

On Fletcher's influence

* Duncan keeps things very simple. He has very good knowledge of the game and he doesn't interfere much with my technique. But there were a few minor points he told me before this match and I think it helped me a bit.

... contd.

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