Cheteshwar Pujara, who was in the Chennai Super Kings squad in IPL 2021, said he has seen many young domestic cricketers struggle to cope up with the pressures of international cricket. The batting star stressed the need to seek guidance and be open about mental health issues.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara stressed the importance of being open about mental health, saying seeking help at the right time can do wonders to a person’s life. Cheteshwar Pujara said he has seen quite a few players finding it difficult to adjust to the pressures of international cricket and pointed out that the best in the business have consulted sports psychologists.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Many Domestic Players Succumb To Pressure When They Go At International Level
Speaking during a YouTube interview for Mind Matters, Cheteshwar Pujara said he feels some people are ‘close-minded’ when talking about mental health.
“I feel we are very close-minded when talking about mental illness. Sometimes, we can feel I am mentally strong. Sometimes even mentally strong people also go through mental health issues. I feel, be open about it. Not worry too much, once you have the right guidance, it will do wonders in your life,” Cheteshwar Pujara said.
Cheteshwar Pujara added that he also has struggled to cope with pressure several times in his career but has learned to overcome it over the years. The Test batting mainstay added that he has consulted sports psychologists and it has helped enhance his performance.
“There was a time when I felt I couldn’t handle the pressure. When I had issues in my younger days, I used to go to my mother and cried in front of her saying that I had a lot of pressure and nervousness and I didn’t want to play cricket. But now I know how to handle the pressure,” he added.
“I have seen many domestic players finding it difficult to handle pressure when they go to international level. I have seen the best of the players consulting sports psychologists and they always enhance your performance.”
“I have consulted them many times and it has helped me. When you deal with the mental aspect you always have questions and to clear those doubts and I saw a different perspective after consulting a sports psychologist. So focus on the process and don’t worry about the outcome.”
Cheteshwar Pujara revealed that he does yoga and meditation to keep away from negative thoughts, which he believes can be a big deterrent to progress.
“Once you are in a negative zone, everything around you becomes negative. I do yoga and try meditation, I do my prayers every day which helps me to remain in a positive mindset. I have a spiritual guru and when I lost my mother, he said it is tough to accept the loss. He said you need to have faith and faith is something which has kept me going,” he said.
While he is an automatic selection when it comes to Tests, he has been away from the white-ball limited-overs team since 2014. He first made it to the ODI team in 2013 and made his debut against Zimbabwe in July that year. His ODI career is only 5 games so far and he has been away from the squad since then. A regular in IPL from 2008 to 2014, he has been away from IPL since 2014 when he represented KXIP.
Cheteshwar Pujara Said It’s Never Easy To Be Left Out And Go Unsold At The IPL Which Hurt The Test Specialist
Cheteshwar Pujara, who played for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021 after ending a 7-year absence from the T20 league, said going unsold in the auctions did hurt him.
“It was tough if I am very honest. It’s never easy to be left out, to go unsold in the IPL. It hurt me. That is something I can’t control. After a point, I realized I had to do things that I can control. I kept on working to get better in the shorter format,” he said.
Cheteshwar Pujara has played 30 matches in the cash-rich league, scoring 390 runs in 22 innings. He has one fifty to his name in the format. The right-hander last batted in the IPL in 2014 and was bought by CSK at the 2021 IPL auction. A regular in IPL from 2008 to 2014, he has been away from IPL since 2014 when he represented KXIP.
He had started his IPL career with Kolkata Knight Riders and stayed with them till 2010. He moved to Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2011 to 2013 before being picked up by KXIP in 2014.