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October 2018
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Virat Kohli And Team India Gear Up For 1st ODI vs Windies With A Game Of Keepy-Uppy        Shuttler Srikanth out; Saina in final of Denmark Open        Amritsar tragedy: Women, children among 61 killed as rushing trains crush Dussehra revellers        Rahul Gandhi calls on Sri Lankan PM        Top Afghan Police Chief Killed In Shooting, US General Unhurt        Putin says IS seized 700 hostages in Syria; executing some        Ten-wicket Abbas destroys Australia for Pakistan's series win        Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge        Japan introduces Artificial Intelligence technology to ease business        Reliance Industries posts net profit of Rs 9516cr in Q2        ISL: Super-sub Maimouni Hands ATK First Win        Chris Morris returns for Australia tour        PCB chief urges Australia to return to Pakistan        Sri Lankan President assured of "fullest cooperation" by PM Modi        VP Naidu arrives in Brussels for 12th ASEM Summit        In Turkey, Pompeo discusses Iranian oil consumption, Khashoggi's disappearance        PNB Scam: ED seizes more assets of Modi, Choksi        Andhra CM visits cyclone-hit areas in Srikakulam        #MeToo fallout: MJ Akbar resigns as minister of state for external affairs        SC writ fails in Sabarimala, not a single young woman allowed by protesters        
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Sports News
It is important to leave the ball well: Pujara on SA challenge
 
Cape Town, Jan 2 (PTI) Cheteshwar Pujara, a vital cog in India's batting wheel, today stressed on the importance of leaving the ball on the bouncy pitches of South Africa during the three-Test series beginning here on Friday.

India lost the series 0-1 on the previous tour of South Africa four years ago but Pujara was amongst the runs alongside Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.

"It is important to leave the ball well, especially overseas. Once you move out of Asia, there is enough bounce in the pitches and that is the reason one should be able to leave the ball," said Pujara after a practice session here.

The gritty 29-year-old has gained valuable experience from his two trips to South Africa, and goes into his third series here in a positive frame of mind.

"It (the adjustment) is both technical and mental. The good thing is that most of the players have been here before.

Personally, I have been here twice (2010-11 and 2013-14). It is about knowing your game, knowing the conditions and you just need to apply yourself."

India arrived here four days ago and go into the first Test without playing a warm-up match.

Asked if the players feel rusty, Pujara replied in the negative.

"See, when we were playing at home against Sri Lanka, we had the South Africa series in our minds. We had prepared few things even in India. I don't think we are in any rush, there is plenty of time to prepare."

Indian batsmen struggled in the Sri Lanka series when they played on bowling friendly tracks in Kolkata and Dharamsala.

The moving ball is not so much a factor in South Africa, it is the bounce.

"Yes, there will be some bounce and that is always a challenge. But this time we have have enough preparation and we would like to back ourselves and try and execute the things which we have done over the past one and a half months."

Pujara said majority of the squad members have played here and that experience will come handy.

"I think the experience is most important. You know what to expect from the pitch, what to expect from the opposition.

Nothing can match the experience of scoring on such pitches.

You know what you want to do as a batsman and even as a team," said India's number three.

The team has been training intensely at the Western Province Cricket Club. Pujara was pleased with the preparation so far.

"Preparation has been fantastic. We have had three net session so far and twice we had two sessions in a day. We are very confident of our chances," he said adding the team is determined to win their maiden series in South Africa.

Considering the unusual drought Cape Town is experiencing, the Newlands pitch might not get the amount of water needed to have a fast and bouncy track over five days.

However, Pujara is not losing sleep over the kind of pitches Indian batsmen will get to play on.

"We are not bothered about the kind of pitches they will prepare. We will just try to focus on our processes. We have a clear gameplan, if it is a flat wicket or a grassy one," he said.

He refused to speak on the opposition's strengths and weaknesses, saying his team is well balanced for the challenge.

"It is up to South Africa how they want to prepare. It doesn't matter who plays for them. As a unit we are well prepared. Our pace attack is also much better this time. They are quick. We have that advantage this time," said Pujara.

India have picked five specialist pacers for the series with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being the sixth fast bowing option.

Pujara backed the pace department to do the job for the team.

"I can mention the Australia Test series at home. Our pacers picked so many wickets even though the pitches were flat. There will be lot of assistance here and I am sure they have made their gameplans by now."

India will also tour England and Australia over the next 18 months, giving the current team a great opportunity to become one of the greatest Indian sides of all time. Pujara acknowledged that prospect.

"Yes, we have that opportunity. If we do well here and in England and Australia. We have a team which can dominate overseas and it will be one of the best teams India have ever had (if we do well in South Africa, England and Australia)," he added.


Virat Kohli And Team India Gear Up For 1st ODI vs Windies With A Game Of Keepy-Uppy
Shuttler Srikanth out; Saina in final of Denmark Open
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ISL: Super-sub Maimouni Hands ATK First Win
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KERALA NEWS
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
 (Abu Dhabi, Oct 18, 2018): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged Keralite business  
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Top Afghan Police Chief Killed In Shooting, US General Unhurt
 (Kandahar, oct 19, 2018):Gen. Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful security offici
Putin says IS seized 700 hostages in Syria; executing some
Sri Lankan President assured of "fullest cooperation" by PM Modi
VP Naidu arrives in Brussels for 12th ASEM Summit
NATIONAL NEWS
Amritsar tragedy: Women, children among 61 killed as rushing trains crush Dussehra revellers
 (CHANDIGARH, oct 19, 2018):At least 61 people, including women and children, were mowed down
Rahul Gandhi calls on Sri Lankan PM
PNB Scam: ED seizes more assets of Modi, Choksi
Andhra CM visits cyclone-hit areas in Srikakulam
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