Cheteshwar Pujara was purchased by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for INR 50 lakh at the IPL 2021 auction on Thursday. A few days ago, reports emerged that the dogged batsman was in talks with Warwickshire for a county stint before the Test series in England.
Speaking at a virtual press conference on Saturday, Cheteshwar Pujara stated:
"First of all, I am really glad to be a part of the IPL, it is good to be back again. I would like to thank the CSK team for picking me, but at the same time, when I am talking about county cricket, I still think I will have enough time before we play England in England. Once IPL gets over, there will be a window for me to play county games. That call I will take once IPL gets over. There will be enough time to play some county games. We also have a couple of practice games in England once the Test series begins there.”
The veteran batsman has played 30 IPL matches so far and has scored 390 runs at a strike rate of 99.74. He last featured in the T20 tournament back in 2014.
My focus once this Test series gets over will be on the IPL: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara reiterated that he always wanted to be part of the shorter format of the game. He, however, added that his focus will shift to the IPL once the Test series versus England gets over. The 33-year-old stated:
"It is good to be back in the IPL. It has produced so many great cricketers, some young talent we have got through the IPL, it has helped the Indian team. My focus once this Test series gets over will be on the IPL and once IPL gets over, I will think about county games and then there is a big series coming up against England.”
The Saurashtra batsman is also hopeful of India making it to the World Test Championship final in June. India need to win the series against England 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the WTC final. Cheteshwar Pujara said:
“Right now, my focus is on the next two Tests. Both these Tests are important for us to qualify for the finals of the WTC. I think the pink-ball Test is very important.”
The four-match Test series between India and England is tied 1-1. The third Test will be the Day-Night Test in Ahmedabad, starting from February 24.