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Need to find a way to outlast Pujara in summer series: Cummins        La Liga can resume week of June 8 - Spanish Prime Minister        Extend loan automatically to all eligible borrowers without fear of 3Cs: FM to banks        Will try to restart international flights before August: Puri        Iran warns US not to interfere with Venezuela oil shipment        Sri Lanka to ease coronavirus restrictions from May 26        Coronavirus cases cross 10,000-mark in Ahmedabad, 24 deaths        Amphan toll rises to 85 in Bengal; protests over electricity, water supply        Prisoners aged above 60 to be released on emergency parole to decongest jail in Delhi        Record jump in COVID-19 cases, 137 more deaths        Bryant items fetch premium prices, Trout card sets record        Baseball players respond to MLB on virus protocols        RBI extends moratorium on loans for another 3 months till Aug        Sensex, Nifty turn choppy; RIL jumps on KKR deal        Quarantine must for domestic air travellers: Kerala govt        At least 57 killed in Pakistan passenger plane crash in Karachi        China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong        Trump lashes out at scientists whose findings contradict him        COVID-19 death toll climbs to 3,583 in India        Pak troops shell LoC areas in twin sectors of Poonch, Rajouri        
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Sports News
If you stay indoors right now, you are fighting the battle for your country: Pujara
 
New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Batting long comes naturally to Cheteshwar Pujara and now he wants his fellow Indians to do the same by staying at home as "the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic can only be won by being indoors".

Pujara was one of the elite Indian sportspersons who attended the video call held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to discuss ways to fight the coronavirus. The country is in the middle of a 21-day lockdown.

"The Prime Minister wanted us to pass on the fighting spirit of a sportsperson to the general public. Sportspersons do inspire to fight," Pujara told PTI over phone from Rajkot, his hometown.

"Most of us are following the government guidelines on lockdown but there are still some who are taking the virus casually. They don't realise that they could too be affected.

"Every single person is a soldier at the moment. If you stay indoors, you are fighting the battle for your own country. There has to be a collective effort else we can't win this," said India's Test batting mainstay.

After helping Saurashtra win their maiden Ranji Trophy title last month, little did he know that he would be spending all his time at home. Pujara is enjoying the "forced" break and most of his time goes into entertaining his two-year-old daughter.

The closest he has got to a "hit in the nets" is by playing with a plastic bat.

"That is also for entertaining my daughter. No serious stuff. All of that can wait at the moment," he said.

But a gym at home means he is not compromising on his fitness.

"I usually take everything in a positive way. Sometimes you need to take a break as a sportsperosn and there can't be a better time. We just won the Ranji and it is the right time to take three to four weeks off.

"Luckily I have a gym at home. Being a small town guy, I can't go out to the gym and train there (because he will be mobbed). With gym at home, I can still do my strength sessions, cycling and running. I also do yoga which helps a lot," said Pujara.

He was supposed to play county cricket in the UK but that too has been postponed at least till May 28 and faces a cancellation.

Considering the current circumstances, Pujara might have to wait till the Australia tour starting November to play his first competitive game since the Ranji Trophy final. But he is prepared for any eventuality.

"I would still have some first-class games before the Australia tour. I am prepared for anything. This is the time when we can't just be thinking about sporting events. First, we have to win this battle against coronavirus," he said.

"A person's life is much more important than a sporting event. All the sporting events (including Olympics) have been postponed. One has to be prepared as we are going through rare times.

"We just need to make sure the virus is contained and things get back to normal. After that we can talk about the game."

Pujara has fond memories of the previous Australia tour in 2018-19 when India won their maiden Test series Down Under. He was named the player of the series for scoring 521 runs at 74.42, including three hundreds. His long hours in the middle and pacers' stellar performances made all the difference.

"I would still say it was a collective effort. Yes, I did perform exceptionally well. I am happy about that, no doubt, but when we go back again you have to start from the scratch. It (past performance) will help me for sure but one has to prepare again. You can't take your past glories to the current series," he signed off.


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KERALA NEWS
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Iran warns US not to interfere with Venezuela oil shipment
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Sri Lanka to ease coronavirus restrictions from May 26
At least 57 killed in Pakistan passenger plane crash in Karachi
China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong
NATIONAL NEWS
Coronavirus cases cross 10,000-mark in Ahmedabad, 24 deaths
 Ahmedabad: Coronavirus cases in Ahmedabad crossed the 10,000-mark and rose to 10,001 after 277 new p
Amphan toll rises to 85 in Bengal; protests over electricity, water supply
Prisoners aged above 60 to be released on emergency parole to decongest jail in Delhi
COVID-19 death toll climbs to 3,583 in India
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