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I am ready to bat at any number in Tests: Pujara

Mumbai :He might have scored a century as opener in the last Test that India played, but Cheteshwar Pujara today said he was willing to bat at any position he’s asked to by the team’s think-tank in the opening game against South Africa starting November 5 in Mohali.

“I don’t know about the (batting) position. Once I join the team (at Mohali) I will have a word with the captain (Virat Kohli) and coach (Team Director Ravi Shastri) and they will let me know what number they are looking at.

Depending on the team’s requirement I will be ready for it,” said Pujara, who will lead Board President’s XI against the visitors in a two-day warm-up game here from tomorrow.

Pujara was promoted to open the batting in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at Colombo, in the absence of injured regular openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, and he made a patient 145 out of a team total of 312 hundred to play a big role in his team’s thumping win by 117 runs that also propelled it to a 2-0 series victory.

The Saurashtra batsman had lost his place in the playing eleven after the Test series in Australia and did not figure in the first two matches in Sri Lanka before grabbing the chance with both hands when an opportunity came his way.

He said he was experienced in facing the new ball.

“Overall, I have batted at no.3 which, at times, is as good as opening the batting. At (other) times at no. 3 you still get some more time and if there is an (opening) partnership, you can be relax and have a look at the bowlers and the wicket.

“Overall, since I have batted at no. 3, I have the experience of facing the new ball. Technically I don’t have to make major changes in my batting and, in that way, I am comfortable batting up the order.

“Overall my preparations are good. Whatever no I will be asked to bat, I will be ready for it,” he added.
Pujara has not scored too many runs in the three Ranji Trophy games played on rank turners at Rajkot but did not read too much into them.