India-Australia Tests would be tough for Cheteshwar Pujara, reckons Glenn McGrath

Pujara would be playing for India after being away from competitive cricket since the month of March.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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The much-awaited India-Australia series is set to get underway and in the current times, the Men in Blue hold the bragging rights. After dominating their first Test series Down Under in the 2018-19 tour, India have no fear of showing their class yet again this time.

The current team is smart and skilled enough to be ready for any challenge, and the 2-1 win two years back is considered as Virat Kohli’s exceptional achievement as a skipper. In the same light, former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath feels that India hold “no fear coming to Australia like they used to.”

While the great bowler plied his trade in the team during the 1990s and late 2000s, India lacked in certain sections. The Indians didn’t have much to show on Australian soil apart from their 1-1 draw in 2003-04 when McGrath didn’t even play. However, things and situations have changed big time now.

It will be India’s first international event after February, and skipper Kohli would only be leading the team for the first Test. The pink-ball game is all set to commence in Adelaide on December 17, and Kohli will return to India after the match to be with his pregnant wife, Anushka Sharma.

India may have some hard time in his absence where David Warner and Steve Smith would also be eager to etch their mark as they didn’t get to play on the last tour due to their suspension after the ball-tampering saga.

Cheteshwar Pujara will have to work harder this series: McGrath

Another factor that helped India steal glory last time was the form of Cheteshwar Pujara, who was the leading run-getter. He has been away from competitive cricket for long, and he would have to work hard to fall back in the place.

“The thing he did so well last time was that he occupied the crease. He spent time in the middle just batting. He is a kind of batsman who doesn’t feel pressure when not scoring runs. That’s unique in the modern era where there are batsmen who would want to score runs after one maiden over.

“The fact that he hasn’t spent time in the middle hasn’t had a lot of long batting time, is going to have a big impact. He will probably have to work harder this series than the last one as he hasn’t played any cricket,” added McGrath.