Cheteshwar Pujara believes ODI specialists should also play county cricket
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Indian batsman Chesteshwar Pujara, who will represent Nottinghamshire in the county season this year, believes that county cricket helps in the development of a cricketer, irrespective of the format he plays.
When asked if ODI specialists should also start considering county participation ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, he said, "Not just looking at the 2019 World Cup, but to develop as a cricketer, it is important to have county experience. Whether it is ODI or Tests, whenever there is an opportunity, cricketers should certainly play county matches."
This will be the right-hander's third consecutive county stint after making his debut for Yorkshire back in 2015.
"Playing county cricket is about being in that environment and batting on those wickets which seam and have a bit of bounce. It's all about getting the experience and nothing related to your technique. Once you reach a certain point (in your career), your technique is very much decided and all you need to do is fine-tune it," he added, while speaking to Times of India.
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Ravichandran Ashwin will also join his Test teammate in England this month to participate in his maiden County Championship. The off-spinner, who has been rested for India's ODI series against Sri Lanka, will play for Worcestershire in his stint with county cricket.
Pujara, who is India's specialist in the longest format of the game, usually follows this pattern of going back to county once a Test series has ended.
Describing the coaching methods of India's new head coach, Ravi Shastri, Pujara said that he gives freedom to the players but also ensures that they are best possible shape ahead of any game.
He also added that Shastri makes players feel welcome and that helps them understand their roles in the side.
Pujara and Ashwin might face each other early next month in Nottinghamshire's fixture against Worcestershire. The match is scheduled to be held on September 5.
The experience of playing in seaming conditions will definitely add to the arsenal of both these players and will help them perform well in India's full-fledged tour of England next year.
Pujara's county stint has definitely helped him develop not only his batting abilities, but his cricketing skills. The 29-year-old has slowly resorted sledging on field and his fielding at backward short-leg has also improved.
The Indian cricket fan would hope that county cricket helps Ashwin as well, considering the offie will be a crucial part of India's upcoming tours of foreign countries.