Sri Lanka v India Tests

Pujara 'learning the tricks of sledging'

Kohli's India increasingly willing to engage in the art of verbal warfare with their opponents

Cricket Network

09 August 2017, 01:46 PM

The aggression of India captain Virat Kohli continues to rub off on his charges, with in-form batsman Cheteshwar Pujara revealing he is "learning the tricks of sledging". 

Since his emergence onto the international scene, Kohli has been viewed as a brilliant but volatile player, and one quite prepared to engage in verbal battles with opponents in the heat of the contest. 

When Australia toured in February-March, the India captain was involved in a series of animated exchanges with the opposition, and it seems his players have become increasingly willing to mimic the actions of their leader. 

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"These days you see I am making a lot of noise on the field," Pujara said during an interview conducted by teammate Ajinkya Rahane on the BCCI website. 

"I am learning the tricks of sledging.

"If you need to sledge a particular batsman, you need to sledge. It helps the bowlers."

Pujara has been in stunning touch with the bat in Sri Lanka, scoring centuries in the first two Test wins and pushing his average to 53.23 in the process. 

He made scores of 92, 202 and 57 to be a thorn in Australia's side during India's 2-1 series success earlier this year, and even conceded then that he was becoming more adept at offering a timely two cents verbally in the field. 

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Following India's series-levelling second Test win, the 29-year-old admitted he had issued a sledge to Australia opener David Warner, which resulted in a stern talking to by umpire Richard Illingworth at the time. 

"They were talking a lot and probably sledging is something which, as a unit, we felt that we can give them back," Pujara said. 

"They were always under pressure when they walk into bat. I wanted to make sure their batsmen are thinking about it.

Always sledging with Aussies: Pujara

"Especially David Warner. Whenever he walks in to bat, 'Ash' (off-spinner Ravi Ashwin) is always happy. 

"So I always keep reminding him that Ash is the one (bowler who has dismissed Warner more than any other in Tests)." 

India's next Test assignment is the third and final match against Sri Lanka, which begins on Saturday in Kandy, while they are set to renew their rivalry with Australia in the ODI format at home in September-October in a five-match series.