Lalchand Rajput, who was the coach of the team, revealed that Pujara was keen to do well with the Indian touring team to South Africa.
“His preparation was keeping in mind the main tour to South Africa with the Indian team. He made optimum use of the ‘A’ opportunity to get used to the conditions. It is helping him now.
And Pujara is a gritty batsman anyway. He values his wicket dearly,” Rajput told MiD DAY after watching Pujara’s classy unbeaten 135 on Day Three of the first Test at Johannesburg yesterday.
“The way Pujara is playing, he would have scored a century in the first innings as well. Unfortunately, he got run out (on 25).”
Pujara’s first tour to South Africa in 2010-11 was clearly a testing one for the youngster. With a highest score of 19 in three innings, the Saurashtra lad had difficulty adjusting to chin music.
Shot selection is key
Cut to 2013, Pujara looks much better equipped to handle the short stuff from Dale Steyn & Co. “He has made a conscious effort to not play his strokes initially into his innings.
During the India ‘A’ tour, he was very keen to get his shot selection right and try and play the ball as close to the body,” Rajput said.