Kohli or bust: Pujara says India is no one-trick pony
Living in the shadow of Virat Kohli is no problem for Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara.
Human headline Kohli is dominating Indian angles in the build-up to the Test series against Australia starting Thursday.
Kohli's personality, batting, leadership and every move are under intense scrutiny ahead of the series-opener in Adelaide.
And that sits just fine with accomplished first-drop Pujara, who deflects questions about Kohli's spectre over Indian cricket.
"To be honest we play as a team," Pujara told reporters on Monday.
"And when we are out there batting, it's about batting as a unit."
Pujara, whose Test average of 49.54 bests any Australian in the first Test frame, said teammates were at ease with Kohli taking the spotlight.
'"I can't say whether it puts more pressure or less pressure," he said.
"You go out there, you want to perform to the best of your ability rather than thinking about whether you have extra pressure or not.
"You always want to do well whenever you play for the Indian team. You have some goals as a batting unit and you want to accomplish that.
"Most of our batters are experienced enough so when we go out there we just trust our preparation and try to perform to the best of our ability."
For the 30-year-old Pujara, the looming Test series is a chance to rectify one blot on his impressive cricketing resume.
While he averages an imposing 55.05 against the Aussies, in Australia he averages only 33.5 and is yet to score a Test ton.
But Pujara said he would draw confidence from his overall performances, rather than worry about his middling record on Australian soil.
"It does help when you have performed well against a particular side," said Pujara, who has averaged 57.85 and 83.8 in his two Test series in India against Australia.
"And when you have played some bowlers in the past you always know what are their strengths and weaknesses, what to expect from them.
"So playing and performing well against them will help me in this series.
"But it will be a fresh start and I don't want to focus too much on what I have done in the past, I would like to stay in the present.
"When the first Test starts, I am very confident. But at the same time I would like to respect the opposition."