Nottinghamshire have signed Indian Test batsman Chetshwar Pujara for the ongoing season of County Cricket as a replacement of fast bowler James Pattinson, who has been named in the Australian squad for the Champions Trophy, that starts from June 1.
This will be Pujara’s third county stint as the right-handed batsman has earlier played for Derbyshire and Yorkshire in the yer 2014 and 2015 respectively. Pujara had a dream run in his previous outing with county teams as he scored 483 runs in total at an average of 54.
“We have looked around the world to find the right player. The most important thing was to sign someone with the quality to make us better, rather than limiting our options by saying it had to be a bowler. We have depth in our squad with regards bowling and – particularly as we’ll be without Alex Hales during that period – we’re more than happy to welcome a world-class batsman to the Club,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell.
The Indian batsman also revelated that he is ready for the challenge as he said,
“I’m ready for it. I’m already working on my skills and preparing for competitive cricket. I love playing county cricket and Trent Bridge is a great venue. I’m really looking forward to my first experience there as a home player. The aim is to win as many games as possible so the team stays on top of the points table.”
However, the county will badly miss the services of Pattinson, who replaced Peter Siddle, as the fast bowler had 20 wickets to his name at an astonishing average of 11.15. The impressive performances helped him get a place in the Australian squad.
Earlier Ishant Sharma, who is playing for Kings XI Punjab as a replacement of injured Murali Vijay, was also offered a contract to play in England and the fast bowler revealed that he had already started looking to sign with a county club but a call from KXIP camp saw him playing in IPL.
Pujara’s stint in England will do a lot good to him and the Indian team as the side is set to tour the country next year where the visiting side has only been able to win one Test match out of nine in past six years. Pujara himself struggled on the tour in 2014 as he could just manage 222 runs in 10 innings at an average of 22.20.
Surely, the batsman from Saurashtra would like to reap benefits from this county stint in order to prepare for the assignment next year.