Cheteshwar Pujara might have been ignored for the Bangladesh Test, but he still is full of optimism. After going through a lean patch in Australia, where he scored just one half century in three Tests, Pujara feels that he will soon make a comeback to the national side. After being named as the skipper of the India A side, which will be coached by Rahul Dravid, Pujara seemed elated.
“I have been part of the team on a regular basis but have missed out on a game here and there. It is just a matter of time before I get back in the XI,” Pujara was quoted as saying on bcci.Tv. “I have been working hard on my game and I don’t think there should be any issues. All I can do is improve my game, irrespective of whether or not I am part of the team. That is the advice I have been getting from all the former greats and that is what I will continue to do,” he added.
Pujara also said that he was excited about working with Dravid. “It will be really important. He (Dravid) is a great mentor. I have been in touch with him and have had many conversations with him. He was with the Indian team for two weeks on our tour to England last year. I have seen him train when he used to play and spoken to him at the NCA,” said Pujara. “He obviously has immense knowledge of the game but the way he puts it across and explains things, it makes you really comfortable.
“The last time I had a chat with him, he was very positive about the way I have been batting and he told me there isn’t any major fault in my technique. He told me that at times I got good balls and that I have to accept that as a batsman. This is the first time I will have him as a mentor for a longer period and he will watch me play.”This will help me more because it is one thing to talk over the phone but quite another talking in person and spending quality time,” Pujara added.
The right handed batsman also opened up about the failure he endured in Australia and England. “You need to accept your failure. Because of the amount of runs I had been scoring before the England tour, I always thought that I can score a century every other game. So, not being able to get runs was a frustrating experience for me. With time I learnt how to accept that,” he said.
“Also, you have to understand that sometimes you may have not scored big runs but may still have fulfilled a specific role for your team. For instance, in the first innings of the Lord’s Test I scored only 28 runs, but I saw through a tough spell and the small 37-run partnership between (Murali) Vijay and me was really crucial.
“You have to learn how to appreciate yourself for these little things and not beat yourself up for not scoring big runs always. You may be very good at what you do but at the end of the day you do make mistakes and you have to move on. That’s what I have started to do after the England and Australia tours,” Pujara said.
Towards the end, the Saurashtra batsman also said that his stint with Yorkshire was pretty helpful.”I really enjoyed playing for Yorkshire. When you play in England, things are difficult, especially in the beginning of the season, in the month of April and May. The weather is cold and the ball moves a lot on fresh wickets. As a batsman it is a challenge and the pressure is two-fold because you make a small mistake and you lose your wicket,” he concluded.