New Delhi: It's not Chris Gayle but AB de Villiers who gave some precious advice to Cheteshwar Pujara after the latter was appointed India A captain for the tour of the West Indies. "I might not have played for RCB in the last month and a half but I was working really hard at the nets. Since this is my first tour of West Indies, I was keen on doing a bit of homework. I spoke to AB about the wickets there and also on my batting," the Saurashtra batsman told scribes on Tuesday.
"He (De Viliers) gave me some good tips on subtle adjustments in batting. Also RCB coach Venkatesh Prasad told me that save Kingston, the pitches at other venues would be on a slower side which would suit our batsmen," Pujara said. When asked if he didn't get a chance to speak to Gayle, he smiled and replied, "No".
He is not under any undue pressure keeping in mind that a good show in the Caribbean will help him make a comeback into the senior team. "I have never felt any pressure. Rather than pressure of performing, it is a big motivation to play for India 'A' as any good performance at this level will be noticed. Most of us have played for 'A' team on overseas tours, so we have that requisite experience."
Pujara has always been touted as the one who should replace Rahul Dravid at No 3 but a couple of knee surgeries have pushed him back in the race. However he doesn't feel that it would be like starting from the scratch. "I won't say that it's like starting from zero. After coming back from injury, I had played four Ranji Trophy matches as well as in the Duleep Trophy. I have also played a few matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore."
Coach Lalchand Rajput was asked whether he would employ rotation policy, he answered, "The best XI will play in every match."
While batsmen may heave a sigh of relief on slower wickets, will it be a tough ask for fast bowlers like Ashok Dinda and Parvinder Awana, the India A captain said, "Our bowlers know the art of taking wickets on slower surfaces. It won't be a problem."