Cheteshwar Pujara Absolutely Nonchalant On His IPL Snub
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Cheteshwar Pujara Absolutely Nonchalant On His IPL Snub

Cheteshwar Pujara, ICC World Test Championship
Champion Pujara says he is ready to bat any position for the Indian team. Image Courtesy: Getty

Cheteshwar Pujara feels IPL auctions are always tricky territory and going unsold there does not make him a frustrated cricketer as he fights the public perception of being a red-ball Test cricket specialist. Cheteshwar Pujara who has played 77 tests has a base price of 50 lakhs in 2020 IPL but was unsold.

In 30 IPL matches he has scored 390 runs with one fifty to his name. The Test mainstay mainly played for KKR, KXIP, and RCB in the past. Cheteshwar Pujara is unsold at the 2020 Auction and it will be interesting to see whether he is picked by any franchise as a substitute player.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. Image Credits: BCCI

Cheteshwar Pujara Do Not Have Ego As He Knows That IPL Auctions Are Tricky

There are players who have had similar strike-rates of around 100 but got picked by franchises leaving the architect of India’s historic series win in Australia in 2018-19 high and dry. IPL auctions are tricky as the franchises bid for the batsmen who are experienced cricketers or youngsters with power-hitting capabilities.

“As a cricketer, I can”t have that opinion. Also I feel that I am someone who will never have such egos because I have seen and known IPL auctions to be tricky,” Pujara told PTI during an exclusive interview.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“I have seen world class players like Hashim Amla go unsold at the auctions. There have been lot of good T20 players, who have missed out on auction. Yes, given a choice I would like to play IPL,” said India”s most important Test batsman alongside skipper Virat Kohli.

Other years during IPL, Cheteshwar Pujara is in England playing county cricket either for Derbyshire, Yorkshire, or Nottinghamshire which was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have to understand these are tough times. It is more important to be with family and stay safe and not worry too much about not getting too much match practice. There are people, who have endured way more difficulties,” he said.

Cheteshwar Pujara is not frustrated as he understands the times are tough when all his India mates will be playing matches (in IPL) and he can only have net sessions while there is still no clarity on domestic cricket.

Cheteshwar Pujara On Being Tagged A Test Specialist

He is tagged as a Test player which is further emphasized by the fact that he has played in only 5 one-dayers where he scored only 51 runs averaging only 10.2.

“I would say yes, it”s a perception being tagged as a Test player and I can”t do much about it,” said the man who set up India”s 2-1 series win in Australia with more than 500 runs in the 2018-19 away series.

“I have always said that I should get opportunities and once I get opportunities, then only I can prove myself as white ball cricketer. I have performed well in List A cricket (average of 54), also in domestic T20s (century in Mushtaq Ali Trophy).  

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“Performance is something which I can control and I will do that. Only thing I can do is wait for my opportunity. But as and when I get an opportunity, then only I can change the perception.,” said the affable man from Rajkot.

The 32-year-old played 77 Test matches and scored 5840 runs with 18 hundred averaging 48.67 and maintains commitment levels above 100%.

“I wouldn”t say that I feel like I don”t have this or I don”t have that. I am happy with what I have got. Be it for Indian Oil in office cricket or playing for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy, my commitment is always above 100 percent. Nothing beats the feeling when you win matches for India with millions supporting you.” he concluded.

Only in his ninth innings, Cheteshwar Pujara notched his first double century in Test cricket. The Gujarat lad took on the bowling attack comprising of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, and Graeme Swann and smacked 21 fours in his unbeaten innings of 206 off 389 balls. It is still his highest Test score to date. The double century guided India to a huge total of 521/8d and eventually, the home side India won the match by 9 wickets.

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