In advance of the high-profile World Test Championship final, which begins on June 7, Cheteshwar Pujara will get an opportunity to see Steve Smith in action as he prepares to play three English county games for Sussex this month.
The Oval will host the World Tennis Championship final between India and Australia from June 7–11. For the record, Pujara is in the lead for Sussex in the red ball competition, and the combination of the captain at No. 3 and Smith at No. 4 might be one of the most well-known in Division 2 of the English County Championship.
Smith will play for Sussex in three games: an away contest against Worcestershire on May 4–7, a home contest against Glamorgan on May 11–14, and a home contest against Leicestershire on May 18–12 as part of his preparation for the WTC final and the highly anticipated Ashes match against England, which begins on June 16.
We have chatted, but we have mostly competed against one another. It would be fantastic to have him in the same side since it seldom happens for the same team, Pujara said to Sussex Cricket during a recent match against Gloucestershire. “I'll try to understand his perspective and get to know him a little better.”
Pujara acknowledged that it would be difficult to play with Smith, with whom he would get into a heated argument after just three weeks of sharing a dressing room.
“There will be conflicting emotions since we will be playing in the WTC final. Although we always have exciting fights on the pitch, we are also close friends off it.
Pujara, who is presently batting in first place in the second division with 332 runs from five innings and two hundreds this year, called Smith a “great influence to have in the team.”
“I'm looking forward to having him in the dressing room and trying to talk to him, learn from him, and see how he prepares because he has a lot of experience (and) the amount of runs he's scored in Test cricket,” said the player.
“We're all excited to have him here and hear about his experiences. He is quite knowledgeable about the game, so having his advice would be helpful.