Indian cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara is currently preparing for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship final in June. To hone his skills further, he will be playing for English county side Sussex over the next month. Apart from playing for the team, Pujara has also expressed his desire to learn from Australian batsman Steve Smith.
Test stalwarts at Sussex
Pujara has had an impressive run for Sussex this season, with two centuries from three matches under his belt. His consistent performance has made him the leading run-scorer in the second tier of England's County Championship.
In a stroke of good fortune for the team, Steve Smith will also be joining Sussex for three matches leading up to the World Test Championship final. As the captain of the team, Pujara sees this as a great opportunity to gain insights from Smith's extensive experience in the sport.
Experience of a champion batter
By leveraging the knowledge and expertise of the veteran Australian cricketer, Pujara hopes to further improve his game and contribute to the Indian cricket team's success in the upcoming tournament.
"He (Smith) is a great influence to have in the team and the guys will be looking forward to having him in the dressing room and will try and have a chat to him and learn from him, just to see how he prepares as he has a lot of experience," Pujara told Sussex 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 nice to have his input, " added Pujara.
Welcome opportunity to play alongside Smith
Cheteshwar Pujara disclosed that he has never had the opportunity to play in the same team as Steve Smith before. However, this is all set to change as Sussex gears up to play against Worcestershire in a four-day match starting from Thursday.
"We have spoken, but most of the time we have played against each other. It is never for the same team, so it will be exciting, and I will try and get his thoughts, try and know him a little better. We will be playing WTC final (against each other), so it will be mixed feelings. On the field, we always have good battles, but off the field we are good friends, " Pujara said.