KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav and Amit Mishra will be rested for the second unofficial Test against Australia A in Chennai, starting Wednesday. In the absence of KL Rahul, Pujara will open the innings and Virat Kohli is likely to occupy the number three spot.

The presence of Virat Kohli in the side will encourage all the players to perform well in an attempt to impress the test skipper.

“KL Rahul is not here, he will get rest for tomorrow’s game. They [Umesh and Mishra] are also being rested for tomorrow’s game. Jayant Yadav has come in. I will be opening,” Pujara said.

Varun Aaron replacing Umesh Yadav and Kohli coming in for Rahul are the obvious changes but there is a three-way tussle between Shreyas Gopal, B Aparajith and Jayant for the second spinners spot.

“As usual I don’t like to say the playing XI before the day but obviously they are fit and they are ready to go for the game starting tomorrow.”

Pujara is hoping to see a better surface for the batsmen which has good carry and is not too slow like the wicket in the first unofficial test.

“Obviously, see the wicket was slow. It was difficult for the fast bowlers as well as for the batsmen because the ball wasn’t coming onto the bat. Hopefully, it’s a better wicket, where there is little more carry and bounce,” he said.

Pujara had solid starts in the first unofficial Test, making 55 and 42, but couldn’t manage to carry on and get a ton. He hasn’t added a hundred to his name in the last 20 test matches and he would like to change that now.

Pujara, however was not concerned about this fact. He seemed to be satisfied with his contribution on a tricky wicket.

“I think things are shaping up well. I have scored runs on a difficult wicket,” he said.

“To be honest, not many big scores were there on this wicket. So even scoring a fifty was obviously helpful for the team.

“Even in the second innings what I scored was definitely helpful for the team. So when you play on a difficult wicket, you don’t expect to score 200s and 300s. So, ultimately you need to contribute to the team’s success and you need to score as many runs as possible. I felt I was timing the ball well and the things which I have worked on were coming along. The weather was difficult, even if you are batting you sweat a lot, you have to run in between the wickets. Hopefully, the way I am batting, I think I would get a good score in the next game.”

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