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May 29, 2012
Cheteshwar Pujara, the captain of India A's squad that will play in the West Indies in June, has said that he used the time spent on the sidelines for Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL to do his homework for the tour.
Pujara had played only three matches for Royal Challengers this season and, he said, he had used the opportunity to seek the advice of the more illustrious names in the Bangalore camp on how best to cope with the pitches in the Caribbean. "I might not have played for RCB in the last month and a half, but I was working really hard at the nets," Pujara told PTI. "Since this is my first tour of the West Indies, I was keen on doing a bit of homework.
"I spoke to AB (de Villiers) about the wickets there and also on my batting. He gave me some good tips on subtle adjustments in batting. RCB coach Venkatesh Prasad also told me that apart from Kingston, the pitches at other venues would be on a slower side, which would suit our batsmen."
Pujara said that having experienced players in the squad will stand them in good stead against West Indies. "Most of us have played for the A team on overseas tours, so we have that requisite experience," he said. "I don't feel any pressure. Rather than pressure of performing, it is a big motivation to play for India A as any good performance at this level will be noticed."
Pujara, who is touted to be a leading Test prospect for India, has been trying to work his way back into national contention after prolonged layoff following a knee injury sustained during the 2011 IPL. He said that he has already proved he's match-fit before flying to the West Indies. "I won't say that it's like starting from zero. After coming back from injury, I had played four Ranji Trophy matches as well as in the Duleep Trophy. I have also played a few matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore."
India A will play three four-day matches, three one-day matches and two Twenty20s on the tour, which begins in Barbados on June 2.
Edited by Carlyle Laurie
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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