'My best has always come against Australia,' says Cheteshwar Pujara

image-ldrdfl0iPujara in practice (Twitter)

The Test series between India and Australia, aka the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, is just inches away from its start. The preparations, verbal battles and excitement for the clash of the two titans are already at its peak. 

Both teams have a lot at stake. A series win against the Aussies for India will mean a direct ticket for the WTC final. Meanwhile, the Pat Cummins-led unit will look at winning in India as the final frontier, just like Steve Waugh saw in 2001-02, but with a better ending.

Australia have lost their last three Test series against India, two at home and one in India. One common reason for all those losses has been India's brisk wall Cheteshwar Pujara, who just loves batting against the Aussies. 

Pujara is again looked at as a force to tackle for the visitors. Before the start of the much-anticipated series, Pujara spoke heavily about the Aussie challenge.  

"They (Australia) are a competitive side. They give a challenge at you, and I like to have that battle. There’s been a lot of talk about the Aussies doing a lot of chat on the field, but the important part that I look up for as a cricketer is a cricketing challenge," Pujara said in an interview to TOI.

The 35-year-old batter, who has scored over 1800 Test runs against Australia after 20 matches, has said that his best has always come against the Aussies.

"As a player, whenever the team is in a difficult situation, your role is to ensure that you pull it out of trouble. There’ve been times when I’ve played such important knocks, and most of them have come against the Australians. I think it’s about being mentally strong about what you want to achieve for your team, for your country (sic)."

The Saurashtra batter will play his first game after the Bangladesh tour in the upcoming series. Before this series, he played a couple of Ranji games for his state team.

I’ve played a couple of Ranji Trophy games as a part of the preparation for the series against Australia. Apart from that, I’ve been practicing back home at Rajkot. I can’t disclose particular things, but there are things which I’m working on a few points which will help me during this series.

The Nagpur Test will be Pujara's 99th game in the purest format, while he will be playing his 100th match in Delhi to become the 13th Indian to do so.

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