Centurion: The backbone of the Indian middle order batting, Cheteshwar Pujara will be looking to make amends in his poor form as India play South Africa in the first Test in a three-match series, starting on December 26. The Indian Test specialist has managed to amass only 849 runs in 17 games in a single year at an underwhelming average of 28.49 which is a point of concern for the Indian team.

The three-match Test series between India and South Africa will run from December 26 to 30 at SuperSport Park in Centurion, will be followed by the second Test at Wanderers in Johannesburg from January 3 to 7 and the third at Newlands in Cape Town from. January 11 to 15.

The international team has begun honing its skills as the team held its first full training session on Saturday. Head coach Rahul Dravid was also present during the training, giving tips to all the players practicing on the field.

“So most of the guys are in touch, and when it comes to preparation, the support staff has been excellent. They have been supporting us well and we have five or six days more before we head into the first Test,” he added, referring to head coach Rahul Dravid and his team.

Meanwhile, Pujara backed Indian bowlers to pick 20 wickets in South Africa and help India clinch their maiden test series against the Proteas. He also praised the way the Indian team played against Australia and England in 2021.”Our fast bowlers have been the difference between the two sides whenever we have played abroad,” Pujara said.

“If you look at the Australia series, even if you look at the England series, we have done exceptionally well as a bowling unit and I am sure that will be the case even in South Africa. Our fast bowlers are our strength and I hope that they will be able to utilise these conditions and give us 20 wickets in every Test match.”

Inputs from PTI