Talismanic India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has started playing alongside Australia’s first star Steve Smith for Sussex in county cricket. Pujara has led the Sussex side this season and has already scored two centuries in three matches. While Smith will join Sussex for the three games ahead of the World Test Championship mega final between India and Australia from June 7 at The Oval, England.
Pujara, who joined Sussex last year, made a huge impact scoring 1,094 County Championship runs including a record three double centuries and finished the season averaging 109.4 and was named captain for the current season.
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Indian Test pundits said the team’s players were delighted to have Smith in the dressing room and would look to learn from him.
“He (Smith) is a big influence to have in the team and the guys will be eager to have him in the dressing room and try to chat with him and learn from him, just to see how he prepares as he has a lot of experience,” Pujara told Sussex Cricket.
Speaking highly of Smith, Pujara said he has a lot of knowledge about the game. Smith is often regarded as one of the brightest minds in world cricket.
“We are all looking forward to having him here and sharing his experience as he has a lot of knowledge about the game and it will be good to hear his thoughts,” Pujara said.
Both Pujara and Smith beat in third place for their national team in Test cricket and have been the backbone of their respective rosters for almost a decade now. The 35-year-old also spoke about his equation with Smith against whom he played a lot of cricket.
We talked to each other, but most of the time we played against each other. “It’s never for the same team, so it will be exciting and I’ll try to get his opinion, try to get to know him a little better,” he said.
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Meanwhile, the Indian striker admitted playing with Smith will be a mixed feeling as they will both face off in the WTC Finals.
“We are going to play the WTC Finals (against each other) so it will be mixed feelings. On the court we always have good battles, but off the court we are good friends,” he said. he added.
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