Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara on Wednesday said India will bank on fast bowlers to do the damage during the South Africa tour next month. India will tour South Africa for three Tests, six One-day Internationals (ODI) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), starting with the first Test from January 5 in Cape Town. “I think we (India) will be very well prepared before heading to South Africa,” the Saurashtra batsman told reporters during the post-match press conference. “We are already talking about the things that we want before heading to South Africa, some of the guys have enough time to prepare for the tour. We have enough experience being in South Africa, that will help us. “The fast bowling unit has been much better now and I think our fast bowlers will do the damage,” Pujara added.
India have picked five fast bowlers — Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and preferred Jasprit Bumrah over chinaman Kuldeep Yadav for the tour. The 29-year-old also heaped praise on spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja saying they can put any opposition under pressure. “I won’t say they are just spinners, if you look at their wickets they have done a remarkable job. They are the most difficult bowlers for any opposition to face,” Pujara added. With India experimenting with various players in the slip cordon during the home season, Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara on Wednesday said the team will finally zero in on a settled unit during their overseas tours, starting with the visit to South Africa later this month.
Despite winning the three-match series against Sri Lanka 1-0, India dropped quite a few catches, thanks to the rotation of various players in the crucial slip positions.”We are having a chat about it (slip catchers), we will assign few players, will have players standing at the slips,” the Saurashtra batsman told reporters at the post-match press conference here. “We will even discuss about it when we reach South Africa, we have started talking about it. We might have to pin down only a few players as specialist catchers,” Pujara added.
The 29-year-old, who has scored 4396 runs in Test cricket at an average of 48.13, was satisfied with his performance over the past year. However, he was quick to assert that there is always room for improvement and he will look to work on it in the upcoming series. “Talking about 2017, it has been a fantastic year, I still could have done better at times I feel that, there is always a scope for improvement,” Pujara said. “There are still some areas in which i want to improve.”