Team India vice captain in Test cricket, Cheteshwar Pujara, confirmed on Tuesday that Shubman Gill would certainly be in the team that plays New Zealand in the first Test at Kanpur, starting on November 25th. Even though he refused to disclose the position he would bat at, Pujara surely sounded impressed by the talented youngster.
Addressing a virtual press conference, Pujara said, "He is a talented player and definitely he will be part of the team. So, someone like him, you know, doesn’t need to worry too much. He has been playing good cricket for a couple of years since he has made his debut. It was unfortunate that he missed out on England, but he is a talented player, and I don’t think personally I will need to tell him much. Rahul bhai (Dravid) is there so he will get the best guidance. I can't reveal the position he will bat at but he is well prepared and I am sure he is looking forward to the series," Pujara said.
📸 📸 When #TeamIndia hit the ground running in Kanpur ahead of the 1st #INDvNZ Test. @Paytm pic.twitter.com/qbMejsdzxW— BCCI (@BCCI) November 23, 2021
Pujara felt that both youngsters and the seniors in the team would benifit a lot from the vast experience of the newly-appointed head coach, Rahul Dravid.
"Rahul bhai's presence will help the young players, especially the ones who have worked with him in the U-19 and India A series; even for someone like us, who are ecxperienced players! I have played with Rahul bhai and worked with him during the A series. So, all of us are looking forward to his guidance. With the amount of experience he has, as a player and also as a coach, that will help the team," Pujara added.
💬 💬 "We are looking forward for Rahul Dravid's guidance." @cheteshwar1 on #TeamIndia working under the Head Coach Rahul Dravid. 👍 👍#INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/B1zoAHkYF7— BCCI (@BCCI) November 23, 2021
While talking about concerns over skipper Ajinkya Rahane's form, Pujara defended him and said that the captain has looked in good touch at the nets and would just need one big score to set the ball rolling. Rahane last got a century in December 2020, playing against Australia in Melbourne, and has scored only 109 runs in his last four Test matches.
"He is a great player but there are times when a player goes through a tough time and that's part of this game. There will be ups and downs but I feel he is a confident player. He is someone who works hard on his game. I'm sure once he gets a big score, he will be back in form. I have seen the way he has been batting at the nets. He is in good touch, so hoping he will score big runs in the series," Pujara opined.