Cheteshwar Pujara Refers Himself As The ‘Die-Hard’ Fan Of The Test Cricket
The Indian Test cricketer, Cheteshwar Pujara has established his name as one of the best top-order batsmen for the team in the red-ball game. In the time of ODI and T20I cricket, Pujara has restated his love for the longer form of cricket at the next episode of the India Today Inspiration. After his influential contribution to the Ranji Trophy, Pujara is now with Virat Kohli & his men in New Zealand for the two-match Test series.
Before the New Zealand series, the 32-years-old cricketer appeared in the Bangladesh series where he had scored two half-centuries in the two games. India defeated the visitors in both the games and maintained their victorious Test journey in the ICC World Test Championship going on.
However, with the blunderous clean swipe by the Kiwi players in the recent ODI series, India is expected to give their best in the upcoming away Test games. In the on-going three-day practice session with the New Zealand XI, Pujara scored 93 runs while the two thrashing Indian openers failed to score much.
Coming in to bat at number three in the batting line-up of India, Pujara was in his own style of playing the knocks. While many cricketers prefer to go full power in the red-ball game, he uses the defensive art of Test batting. He would keep the strike rate going on even when the spinners are on the field and keep scoring runs for longer than most of the other cricketers.
Talking about his playing style, Cheteshwar Pujara said that whilst the future of cricket lies in T20I and ODI cricket, he finds himself among the “die-hard fans” of the longer format.
“First of all, I do agree (On the dying art of defensive Test batting) because when I look at the modern-day youngsters, all of them want to play shots. And yes the future is obviously T20 and ODI cricket. But at the same time, I think there are still diehard Test fans and I am one of those. I always love playing Test cricket at the same time,” Pujara told India Today Consulting Editor (Sports) Boria Majumdar.
Recognized as the Test Specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara unveils the reason behind his success
Furthermore, Cheteshwar Pujara has played the longer-version of cricket ever since the beginning of his cricket career. However, he has played only five ODI games for India throughout his career scoring a total of 51 runs at the lowest average of 10.20.
He hasn’t played in any of the limited-overs games for the team India in the last five years. Although he wishes to get the opportunity to play for them in limited-overs cricket, he is content with his form in the red-ball game. Pujara talks about his achievements in the white-ball game as he mentions the triple century he scored in his very first game for the U14.
“Yes, I would like to play T20 and ODI cricket as well. But yes when you’re playing just one format, you put in a lot of hard work, you put in a lot of effort to be successful in that format. This comes from my junior days. Playing long innings and concentrating for hours and hours. It started when I started playing U14 cricket for Saurashtra. In my very first game, I was able to score a triple hundred. That is when I created the habit of playing long innings. That is when my journey started.
“So I feel if you create that habit for over a period of time then you always become successful even at the international level. When I was playing Ranji Trophy or U19, if I recollect all of those innings, if I recollect all the journey then I understand that why I am successful at the international level now,” added Pujara.
Recently, Pujara earned his name in the elite first-class players’ list with his 50th-century knock in the first-class career. Playing against Karnataka at Rajkot in January, the 32-year-old batter scored a gritty double-century in the game.
After registering successful knocks in the first-class game at home, Pujara is geared up to set new records against New Zealand. The series will begin from 21st February at the Basin Reserve of Wellington. The second and the last game will start on 29th February, concluding the tour of Virat Kohli & Co.
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