IND v AUS: Patience does not come on its own, need mental strength for that, says Pujara

by IANS |

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) One of the most illustrated aspects of Cheteshwar Pujara's long run in Test cricket, which will hit the 100th appearance mark in the format during the second Test against Australia here on Friday, has been his never-ending patience and a breezy sense of calmness mixed with a dollop of determination and resilience.

Ahead of his landmark Test match, Pujara explained how he has gained tons of patience which have seen him be a part of various memorable victories for India.

"Patience does not come on its own, need mental strength for that. Apart from that, you need to practice well and preparation is very key. I scored runs at junior cricket, age group cricket and first-class cricket, from where I learnt patience."

"Some things don't occur overnight and talking about discipline, it doesn't come in a day, or two-four-six months, you get patience after being disciplined for a long. It requires working over a period of time and backing your game with discipline, routine and hard work, which then gives you patience. When you focus on your game and abilities, coupled with confidence, but if you be persistent in your efforts, then you can be successful," he said in the pre-match press conference.

But beneath the calmness, patience, and resilience Pujara lies a stubborn spirit which is fuelled by discipline, following routines and shutting down the outer noise to build a headstrong mental strength.

"Ashwin had recently spoken about me being very stubborn. Sometimes, for me, as long as you stick to your methods, and are confident about your own game, one has to be disciplined to be successful in Test format. I have done that over a period of time. I have my routines and pay attention to my fitness."

"Apart from that, I do a little bit of meditation, yoga, and pranayam, which has immensely helped me to be in the present and not think about outside noise. It's easy to say that one has to shut out the outside noise but to do that, you have to be mentally strong and detach yourself from what is being spoken about you."

"I try to detach myself from social media, newspapers, and TV, even if it is positive things. Sometimes you need to focus on the things which you can control and then get better as a cricketer. So I try to do all that, which has helped me immensely."

Apart from this, Pujara stated though he hasn't changed as a human being, he has added some shots to his batting prowess and has become open-minded too to become a player who embraces evolution in a modern world, citing his Player of the Series performance against Bangladesh last year.

"As a cricketer, I can definitely say that having played a little bit of white-ball cricket recently helped me a lot. I have played for Saurashtra and Sussex, where I tried playing a few shots like paddle scoop and a few reverse sweeps against fast bowlers. That has opened my mindset as when I wanted to implement a few shots in Test cricket, you are a little more flexible, open-minded towards trying things out."

"Like in the series against Bangladesh, when the team needed to accelerate and played a few shots as I had been doing that in practice sessions. I am a little bit more open-minded and one has to be flexible to adapt to different situations, as well as be open to changes in your game and technique."

"As a person, I don't think a lot has changed. I am the same Cheteshwar which people know if you speak to my teammates and people who know me. I don't think people need to change as a person as long as you are a good human being."

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