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Cheteshwar Pujara wants to make a century in each innings he plays

Cheteshwar Pujara aims at doing well in South Africa

3 triple centuries and eight 200+ scores in first class cricket vouch for the thirst for big scores in the longer format in Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s replacement at No. 3 in Tests for Rahul Dravid.

The 25-year-old is not content though and aims for a hundred in each innings he bats in.

Pujara was the captain of the India A team which drew the recently concluded 3-match unofficial Test series against West Indies A 1-1. The skipper was in the news as he became the 2nd Indian and 9th batsman overall to have scored three triple centuries in first class cricket, notching up an unbeaten 306.

In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, the Surashtra run-maker was clear about his thirst for more runs. “My aim is simple: I want to hit a 100 each and every innings I play, it doesn’t matter what level, what format, what match,” Pujara said. “And in that process, if I am consistent enough, people will acknowledge that I am the best. I don’t believe that I have to be the best. If people feel that I am the best, that will make me happy.”

Pujara has been extremely impressive in the Tests he’s played so far, scoring two centuries and two double centuries in 13 matches so far.

Till now, he’s been tagged as a Test specialist, but Pujara emphasises on how he has developed his game to score runs faster. “I have a decent limited-overs record; my strike rate is decent enough. I’ve had the highest batting average in every one-day setup. I haven’t got enough opportunities (with India in limited overs format).

“During my recent triple hundred against West Indies A, I scored a hundred inside a session. This despite the fact that West Indies had many fielders saving boundaries. I am getting better at acceleration,” he said.

Pujara is looking forward to the South Africa tour at the end of this year, as he’s all prepared to visit the place where he faced his toughest test in the international arena so far in 2010/11.

Back then, in the presence of Dravid, Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, Pujara was a newbie, and though his figures of 19, 10 and 2 don’t look optimistic, the batsman impressed the team management with his solid technique.

“I am very excited about the tour. This time, it will be a big responsibility. Last time, we still had Sachin, Rahul and Laxman. I will have to be extra careful as a senior player.

“Luckily, I know South African conditions well. But I need enough practice. I have been in touch with the game, and the home Tests against West Indies will be good for me too.

“When you are in touch with the game, you just have to make minor adjustments based on the conditions. My concentration and focus levels have to be at the highest,” he said.

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