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Cheteshwar Pujara feels he is very capable of playing limited-overs cricket

Pujara has represented the country in 32 test matches but has played in only five ODIs thus far

cheteshwar pujara
Pujara scored a half-century in the first test match against South Africa

Cheteshwar Pujara opened up about his experience in 2015 in an interview given to First Post. The 27-year-old has certainly grown as a batsman now and believes that he is equally capable of performing in the limited overs format.

Pujara was asked about how he would look back the year 2015 and the solid batsman said, “There were a few ups and downs but I am glad that I made a good comeback.”

He believes he had a decent year and as the batsman is known for big scores, his run against SA wasn’t impressive, he said, “Of course as a cricketer there are times when you don’t score too many runs. It is a phase everyone goes through. I wasn’t out of form though, kept scoring 30s and 40s but it wasn’t acceptable since I am known for big scores.”

When asked about his regular 30s and 40s regularly in England and Australia, Pujara talked about England and mentioned how even those small figures were important on such challenging grounds, he said, “When you are playing on a challenging wicket, you might not score big runs. But even 30s and 40s prove to be useful because you use up a lot of deliveries and see through the ball, and the team management accepts that. But yes, it is frustrating.”

Rahul Dravid’s guidance was very helpful: Pujara

The batsman was asked about why the management took a decision against him in Sydney and what reasons they gave him for not putting his name on the team sheet, Pujara was hesitant to talk about what the situation is the dressing room was like, but told how he felt the need to come back as soon as possible.

“I spoke to Rahul Dravid during the A-series earlier in the summer and his guidance was really helpful. I tried playing as many games as possible. Even in Lanka, I was working hard in the nets, knowing that my chance will come and I had to be well prepared for it.”

It is no surprise how Rahul Dravid is affecting the lives of cricketers after retiring. “The best tip came from Dravid bhai. He told me nothing was wrong with my technique, that so far I had been successful because of my technique.

So I shouldn’t doubt it and keep playing. He had seen me bat and said he couldn’t figure out anything wrong. So I kept batting the way I was and worked hard in the nets.” said Pujara when he was asked about what Dravid and others said to him.

He also told how his father and also his childhood coach was a great influence on him and gave him the same advice as Dravid’s.

Pujara’s decent strike rate has solved India’s problem of the quickie 1 down batsman and when asked about this, he mentioned, “A lot of the time it depends on the situations, sometimes you have to be careful. You can always be a little more positive if the situation is easy. But strike-rate has never been an issue for me as far as Test cricket is concerned.”

I think I am a very good limited-over cricketer: Pujara

The batsman who has always been quoted as a test batsman said that he was very much capable of playing limited overs and has been practicing in the nets for the same. His said the perception about him was completely vague and he is equally capable of playing in the shorter formats.

“I think I am a very good limited-over cricketer and I have a good record in these shorter formats. I have even played regularly for India A. So there is nothing to say that I cannot play ODIs or T20Is. I am very much capable.”

“The perception is wrong, and I am very capable of limited overs cricket.”

Pujara also talked about his recent initiative for kids who aspire to play cricket, “It was my father’s idea. He told me that you should build an academy that provides facilities and infrastructure to young cricketers, particularly those who can’t afford it. This is the right way to promote the game as well as contributing towards a social cause.”

Pujara has proved himself as a batsman every time it was required. Stating that he can play in the limited overs format, he will be up for auction in the IPL for this season and it’s all about getting an opportunity for this guy. 

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