India have psychological advantage over South Africa: Pujara

Bengaluru, Nov 12 (IANS) India middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara believes that the 1-0 lead has given hosts India a moral and psychological edge over South Africa before going into the second cricket Test which starts here on Saturday.

India wrapped up the first Test in Mohali inside three days, defeating the visitors by 108 runs.

“It’s a fresh game, but the good thing for us is that we have won the first Test, so psychologically we can say that we have an advantage. Obviously, we can’t take them lightly; they are a good side,” Pujara told reporters here on Thursday.

“What we need to do is stay focused on the things that are needed to win the Test match rather than worrying about what their team might do and what kind of cricket they can play. As long as we are focused on the things we want to do, it will allow us to succeed in this Test match,” he said.

For Pujara, personally, his 31 and 77-run knocks in the first Test were very valuable, as they came in difficult batting conditions and were crucial to India’s victory.

“If you talk about form, there was never a doubt that I would come back to international cricket because the start that I had was good. I had the confidence. I was back in form. All cricketers will have that phase when they are not performing as well as they should,” the Test specialist said.

“But once you start believing in yourself, start working harder on your game and start scoring runs in any game, whether it is domestic or club cricket, you gain the confidence that you can do well,” the 27-year-old added.

Pujara also pointed out that India A coach Rahul Dravid’s advice to him regarding his batting stance helped him a lot.

“I have the measurement of what kind of stance I have – the distance between my legs. Earlier I had a little wider stance but now I have made it slightly narrower,” he said.

“I discussed about it with my father (Arvind Pujara) and Rahul (Dravid) bhai before the Sri Lanka series and then I came down to conclusion of what I wanted and it has helped me,” Pujara added.

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