New Delhi: 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 Covid19 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 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 too could be affected.
"Every single person is a soldier at the moment. If you stay indoors, you are fighting the battle for your country. There has to be a collective effort else we can't win this," said India's Test batting mainstay.
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.
"Lives are 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."