Cricket

Confident of doing well in short formats: Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

Cheteshwar Pujara is keen and eager to play short formats of the game. And excel in them too. The Saurashtra batsman has been dubbed a Test specialist for many years now, has played five ODIs for India and the last one against Bangladesh five years ago.

At the CEAT Cricket Ratings Award here on May 13, Pujara, when asked if he was itching to play ODI cricket, said: “Yes, I am. One-day cricket is something I always look forward to. Not just ODIs, but also Twenty20. Recently I scored a hundred in a domestic T20 tournament. I am looking forward to playing white ball cricket. I hope I will get opportunities soon. I am improving and prepared. I am confident of doing well in white ball cricket.”

When asked if there is scope for a batsman like him in ODI cricket, and if he could have been part of the Indian team, Pujara said: “Even if you look at some ODI cricketers who have been performing consistently, their style of play is not just to slog. They rotate the strike, hit a boundary shot in between and that’s how one builds the team’s total. You need one batsman who can stabilise the innings, especially in overseas conditions.”

Pujara is far from disappointed in not getting chances for the short versions of the game. “ It’s not a thing that I can control. If I was part of the World Cup team, it would have been a proud moment. I am trying to work on my game. But it’s all about what the team wants and where I fit in.”

Pujara is happy with the fast bowling potential of the Indian team. “We have [Jasprit] Bumrah, [Mohammad] Shami and [Bhuvneshwar] Bhuvi with Hardik [Pandya] as the fourth. In Test cricket in England the conditions will help the ball move around, but for white ball cricket, the pitch may be flat. It is difficult to predict anything for the World Cup. Once the team reaches England, it would be able to assess things.”

How tough has it been for him to be not active in IPL and other short format tournaments. “You have to keep playing the game, but some times it’s important to take a break. I have played some matches in the Chennai league (for MRC-A). Before the IPL, there was an off season in cricket, there is nothing wrong with that. If there are no Test matches, all I can do is wait. I have played the Ranji Trophy, but even the domestic season is over.”


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 5:00:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/confident-of-doing-well-in-short-formats-pujara/article27119709.ece

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